Published: 27th May 2020
This COVID positive maths teacher took online classes from a hospital in Leh. Here's why he's inspiring
Kifayat Hussain is a Mathematics teacher at the Lamdon Model Senior Secondary School in Leh. He conducted online classes from the hospital after he tested positive for COVID-19
Kifayat is a Maths teacher at the Lamdon Model Senior Secondary School in Leh and he teaches children from Class 7 to 10. Currently, he has been released from the hospital and is in isolation after he tested negative twice. "On April 30, I had got my first test done, I went voluntarily as my school has 2500 children who study there, and the village I reside in already had a huge number of cases," says Kiyafat. He is a resident of Chuchot Shama village in Leh.
The district administration had requested the residents to take the test as the number of cases was quite high. "On May 3, I got back the results and I was COVID-19 positive. I was shocked initially, as I had no symptoms at all. I was then taken to a hospital which has been specifically set up for Coronavirus patients," he explains.
Kifayat then requested the school principal if he could take online classes from inside the four walls of the hospital as the students were already used to them and could access the internet. "They asked how my health was and if I would be able to take the strain. On May 5, I began the classes. The school administration had provided all kinds of materials for me to teach," says the teacher. Kifayat was discharged on May 14, following which he came back home and continued the classes. "I already have a whiteboard, markers and a set up done at home. Internet connectivity is not smooth at all times, so I take live classes on Zoom whenever the network permits. Otherwise, I record and send videos on WhatsApp to my students," he adds.
Kifayat earned his share of fame after his efforts were lauded by Former Indian cricketer VVS Laxman on Twitter. "Kifayat Hussain, a Maths teacher from Leh tested positive for COVID-19, despite this he has been taking online classes for his students from the isolation centre. Such spirit is an inspiration," Laxman tweeted on May 14.
Schools have been shut since March 8 as the first positive case had been found then in Leh. So, the teachers in Kifayat's institution had already made WhatsApp groups with students for easier communication and begun taking online classes. Currently, tests also are being conducted on Zoom. Kifayat also has a YouTube channel in his name where he uploads videos explaining concepts after which he sends the links to his students on WhatsApp. "Internet speed is quite good here, we have 4G connections but not always. So, we use Zoom, YouTube or WhatsApp depending on the bandwidth available at a given time," says the educator.
Kifayat tells us he will continue to take these classes until the schools reopen. He also runs a coaching centre in Leh. "Students, ex-students, school administration, other teachers, people around me at the hospital were extremely happy when I began conducting classes. There was a sense of positivity around when they saw me doing this. People in Leh have been extremely scared of the virus, so this acted as a silver lining," he concludes.