Sambalpur: When the Covid-19 pandemic struck, throwing schools into a complete shutdown, a group of students of Veer Surendra Sai University of Technology (VSSUT), Burla, came together to literally ‘unlock education’ and ensure the children are not deprived of the guidance as done in normal classroom education.

The VSSUT students have started an initiative, ‘Unlock Education, The New Face of Knowledge’. Under this programme, students of the tech varsity are providing free tutorials to needy and interested students from classes VIII to X through WhatsApp and other online platforms.

They started providing online tutorials free to the local school children first, but the initiative has now spread across the state bringing students of over 250 schools in its fold.

‘Unlock Education’ was started as a Facebook page in the first week of July by Hrudanand Prusty of VSSUT along with two of his batchmates Ankita Meher and Ayushi Swain. Subsequently, a core team of 12 students of VSSUT was formed which promoted the initiative through social media platforms. A few mobile numbers were shared for students to seek assistance and clear their doubts on any subject.

On July 3, with just five school students, now around 200 students from across the state, studying under the Odisha board as well as CBSE and ICSE.

The VSSUT students have created three separate WhatsApp groups, one each for the state board, CBSE and ICSE. There is another WhatsApp group for VSSUT students who have volunteered to teach and guide the children.

Students share their doubts in the group which is explained by team members either over audio or video call. The team also conducts group classes over video call on different subjects. The members are active from 6 am to 1 am every day and provide useful short notes and pdf documents on different topics as well as related YouTube links.