They see the school notes and ask a few questions during their ‘surprise visits’ on alternate weeks
KOCHI Nebin Stephen, a tenth standard student, was having a jolly good time at his home at Koothattukulam on Children’s Day when one of his teachers dropped in unannounced. The holiday mood went out of the window and for the next 30 minutes he stood masked as his social science teacher Jomon Joy checked his notes and asked a few questions, all seated on his motorcycle.
Gone are the days of luxury for the students of St. John’s Syrian Higher Secondary School at Vadakara in Koothattukulam when they used to complete notes and studied at their pleasure.
Mr. Joy and his colleagues have ensured as much through surprise visits at their students’ homes as it appeared that the youngsters were having a bit too much of fun since Onam holidays. Though it may not be entirely to the liking of the students, the ‘surprise checks’ seem to have the full backing of their parents.
50 houses covered
“Initially, when I used to go out for something I simply dropped in at the students’ houses along the route. But then I started going out solely for checking on students and there were even days when I covered over 10 households,” said Mr. Joy, who has till now covered over 50 houses.
And the visits are proving to have the desired effect, with the students pulling up their socks. “The moment the teacher drops in at a student’s home, phone calls fly thick and fast among friends,” said Reni Stephen, mother of Nebin.
However, updated notes alone would not help them save their skin. Questions will be asked and those having no answers will have to write imposition.
Benoy Scaria, who has his two sons studying at the school, found the visits an effective addition to the online classes. “My sons have turned more diligent about their homework and studies since then,” he said.
Mr. Joy makes those visits on alternate weeks owing to the pandemic scare and maintains strict COVID-19 protocol. He usually never leaves his motorcycle and is always masked and maintains physical distancing.