Leh, May 15: Despite having tested positive for the coronavirus, a teacher in Ladakh is making sure his students do not miss any mathematical formula or the enigmatic algebra problems do not get tougher than what the life may sometimes throw at them.
Lodged in an isolation centre in Leh district, Kifayat Hussain is taking online classes using internet communication tools like Zoom and making YouTube videos for his Class 9 and 10 students, whom he cannot meet.
The teacher said he is doing a mix of online classes and pre-recorded videos as at times there are problems with the internet connectivity at the hospital.
"Teaching is not just my job, but my passion. I was concerned that students will be left behind in their studies and it will be a burden for them if I cover the syllabus in a hurry in future. I had enough strength to teach so I thought I should give it a try," said Hussain.
His village was declared a containment zone after some people were found positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, and he decided to get himself tested to avoid putting students at Lamdon Model Senior Secondary School at risk.
Asked whether he is scared, that he has tested positive for the virus, Hussain said, "I am not scared and with the care that I am getting, I hope to get well soon."
"Although I had no symptoms, I feared I could be carrying the virus. So I decided to get myself tested and went for it at our local hospital on April 30.
"Once I tested positive, my teachers, particularly my principal, phoned me and advised me to go for strict quarantine and get cured," he said.
Hussain was then put into an isolation centre, where he decided to continue to teach the students to remain engaged and also connect with his students.
He requested the Ladakh administration to allow him to conduct online classes.
"My school provided me digital boards and pens and I started conducting daily classes from 2PM to 3PM through Zoom. I recorded lessons on YouTube and sent them to students," Hussain said.
The school's principal, Dr Stanzin Dawa, said a teacher is a guiding light and nurtures a child's talent, builds his confidence, and prepares him for the life ahead.
"In these difficult times, when people are scared, uncertainty, the spirit of Kifayat Hussain illuminates our hearts and elevates our hope," he added.
Hussain too says highly of the principal and the administration for giving the permission and providing the resources required to start the online classes.
"I thank the UT Administration and am very grateful to Dr Stanzin Dawa and Mr Tsewang Paljor, President Managing Committee of Lamdon, for helping me at each step. And I express my gratitude to the hospital staff who have been taking care of me".
Hussain believes the support he got from his family was an important catalyst that made teaching from the hospital possible.
"Most families are scared of a COVID patient's name being revealed since people tend to maintain a distance from the patients even after they have been cured. My family did not pay heed (to such thing) and understood my passion to teach," he said.
He said his students too appreciate his effort and fully support him.
"This means a lot to me. It is my honour that Rigzin Samphel, Commissioner
Secretary of UT Ladakh, called me personally to praise me for my dedication and work. I have received calls from Lamdon family including Principal sir, management, faculty and staff, and also parents recognising my effort," he added. His principal said they salute his commitment to teaching and pray that he gets well soon.