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Leverage the network within the neighbourhood to support the social, emotional, educational needs of students as well as parents.

Photo of Manpreet Kaur
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Written by

I am a.....

  • Teacher

Tell us about your idea

Based on my discussions with parents, students, educator colleagues, one thing that emerged out very strongly was the feeling of loneliness and anxiety. Switching the medium of instruction to online, we definitely were able to minimize the loss of education but were unable to cope up with the anxiety issues faced by all. Social distancing led to being (or atleast the feeling of) socially distanced from our friends, colleagues, teachers, students, school/college/learning spaces and all our support groups. 

Where I do think the future will be blended learning, our movement to schools and colleges will be restricted to smaller groups and on a rotational basis in the near future. Learners might go to schools/ colleges 2/3 times a week for classes which will be supported by online sessions on the other days and worksheets, projects to complete on their own time. The void of not having your peer by your side, not going to the library or going for a sports lesson, meeting your teachers regularly and going to school/ college as we have been used to, will still be a reality.

Pandemic has made us realise the importance of neighbours. It is during these times that we have witnessed examples throughout the world where communities have taken initiatives to uplift each other's spirits. Neighbourhood Collaborative will be nexus of students, parents, schools, teachers, volunteers, caregivers and the global community. The collaborative will be a support group of people staying within a neighbourhood, which will be supported by a local school(s) which is a part of a larger global community of education.


  • Everybody in the neighbourhood will be connected through an Application.
  • Within the app, breakout groups will be formed for learners of the same level of education and interest along with their parents.
  • Learners can get together and form study circles. The parents can form a support group, monitor a group of learners and take responsibility on a rotational basis.
  • Will reach out for volunteers within the society. A volunteer can update their availability on the app. A parent can schedule group learning and choose the available volunteer. One of the parents can oversee, but the volunteer supports and caters to learner needs.
  • Educators can be made available weekly to support the additional needs of learners. One can connect with the educator within the society or request the local school.
  • Extra-curricular activities can also be provided - Art centre, Workshop Area, library.  Fun activities like open night events, movie screening, learning through games can be organized in a small group.
  • Space for activities - house in a small group by taking necessary precautions or use of the common areas– club, community centre or temporary arrangement -portable sheds or a bus. 
  • Additional emotional wellbeing initiatives can be run, for example, volunteers can give regular calls to learners as well as parents to enquire their wellbeing.


  • Will support learners and parents socially, emotionally, academically and will ease anxiety with the ease of reaching out which will help overcome the FOBA.
  • Will help contain the spread of the virus as the movement is limited within a small group. Easier to maintain hygienic conditions, take care of necessary measures.
  • Will ease out the stress of parents as this will support the learning needs as well the social needs of kids while taking care of their safety. Also due to the proximity, there will be mental ease.
  • Will widen the learner's community beyond school.
  • Will reduce screen time for learners.
  • Will develop a higher sense of community spirit.

What part(s) of the pre-COVID school system do you wish to leave in the past? Why?

Rigidity. The fear around failure. Schools should be a space to experiment, learn and grow. Recommendation - There should be an inclusion of life skills.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to share this idea.

I am a design educator.
The anxiety of my own students, colleagues and myself, the common fear of loneliness and not knowing what the future holds for us, inspired the idea. My neighbourhood has been one of my biggest support systems in the last few months.

What region are you located in?

  • Southern Asia

Where are you located?

New Delhi, India


Join the conversation:

Photo of Merritt Wuchina

Manpreet Kaur Beautiful image you have designed for this.

We are operating from a similar perspective of systems thinking.

I'd like to collaborate with you on how we can bring in the Global Community to your presented plan.


Photo of Manpreet Kaur

Hi Merritt,
Thank you for reaching out and sharing your idea. I would love to collaborate and see what can we do together.

- Manpreet