Home schooling has been a challenge for millions of families during the pandemic throughout the world.
But in one Sri Lankan village, just getting an internet signal brings a whole new set of problems.
After trekking through dense bushes — often visited by leopards and elephants — the teachers and 45 children in Bohitiwaya climb more than two miles up a rocky slope to sit on tree branches.
There, IT teacher Nimali Anuruddhika finds a signal to upload lessons.
Other students from the village join them, many sharing one laptop or device.
H.M. Pathmini Kumari, who accompanies his 11-year-old son, said children make the climb twice a day and safety is a big concern.
Other parents, most of whom are farmers, often accompany their children.
The village in eastern Sri Lanka lacks basic amenities, and the local school — closed since March 2020 due to the Covid crisis — is ten miles away.
Nearby, In the village of Lunugala, about 37 miles away, adults also escort schoolchildren to a mountaintop treehouse in a forest reserve.
It is about 30 feet high and has internet access. They take turns to upload their homework and download lesson plans.
Ceylon Teachers’ Union leader Joseph Stalin said just 40 per cent of the country’s 4.3million students can take part in online classes, while most lack access to devices or connectivity.
On Monday, Sri Lanka’s government began a campaign to vaccinate all teachers with a view to reopening schools soon.
Source: Metro, UK