The Responsible Mica Initiative Adapts its Activities to Maintain Children Engagement in Education During Covid-19 Pandemic

Ranchi, July 9th, 2020

As India just overtook Russia to become the world’s third-worst affected country by the pandemic, and as Jharkhand extended lockdown following a surge of new cases in the state, RMI’s local NGOs partners are mobilized to maintain children’s engagement in education activities.

Several activities were organized in that aim:

  • First, surveys were conducted to assess the impact of Covid-19 on children’s education. Interviews with children and mothers were organized, in order for the partners to design an adapted response to the situation, and to rightly answer the needs of local communities.

Rapid survey with children…

… and with mothers

  • Since and on the basis of these surveys, homework has been continuously distributed by RMI’s partners to children in support from a team of experts on Education. Mutual aid between sisters and brothers within a same family is organized and parents are invited to actively support and get engaged with their children in solving the exercises.

A dedicated focus was put on marginalized children who usually have limited access to necessary equipment and internet services, making it difficult to join digital classes. To overcome this challenge and to ensure their continuous engagement in education activities, more than 100 different types of worksheets covering various subjects were designed by a team of experts on education and were distributed to more than 2,000 children by the project team at ground.

A mechanism was developed to evaluate children’s performance and to share individual feedback while ensuring they enjoy the learning activities and remain connected.

This bridging mechanism was found very effective and efficient to ensure children remain engaged with education and do not feel excluded in comparison to other children having access to digital platform to continue their education activities.

A Mother is supporting her children in filling the distributed worksheets

  • Children are also invited to participate to online competitions organized by public institutions, as such as the Indian Space Research Organizations. Younger children are invited to share their drawings. Children from class 4 to class 8 are invited to make science model. Older children are invited to write essays and to answer to a quiz.

Indian Space Research Organization organized an online competition for children

In parallel, handwash demonstrations are still carried out during Bal Manch (children’s forums).

Handwash demonstrations carried out during Bal Manch

As of July 2020, and thanks to the astounding work done by RMI’s partners, we have been able to maintain our objectives while adapting the way of delivering support and activities, under Education component as well as under global Community Empowerment Program.

As RMI continues to support and scale up these initiatives, a special focus is put on ensuring that everyone involved follows the health and safety protocols issued by the government and leading health experts to protect themselves and others against the virus.


Mica-dependent communities remain in a difficult situation, since industrial activities are disrupted at large. RMI will continue to monitor the situation in Bihar and Jharkhand. The significant impact COVID-19 will have on people’s lives remains worrying, especially with regard to local communities around the world who depend on mineral collection like the mica communities in India. RMI remains steadfast in its commitment to help vulnerable communities access essential goods and support as long as COVID-19 crisis lasts.