Volunteer university students offer free online lessons
ISTANBUL - Anadolu Agency
Volunteer students from Istanbul University are teaming up on an online platform to offer free lessons to some 1,000 pupils.
The online medium, the Bambu Volunteers’ Education Platform, was launched nine months ago by Akın Günaydın, a mathematics teacher, with an idea of providing opportunities in the uneven education field.
A team of 15 people worked for one and half years to kick start the platform. The number of volunteers reached 400 shortly after it became online.
On the platform, volunteers help students prepare for high school entrance exams, give lessons in various subjects and also provide psychological support.
“There has been a team spirit since the very first day,” said Günaydın.
“It is not just about giving lessons but also about shaping pupils’ future. We started out with only four students and have grown over the months. We try to have those children have dreams,” Günaydın added.
Tuğba Uslu, one of the volunteers, noted that they are trying to reach out to pupils from low-income families and those who live in backward areas.
“We do not accept the pupils whom we believe do not really need this platform. We receive applications through social media outlets. Some parents of our students later wanted to become a volunteer,” she said.
The interest in the platform only grew bigger during the coronavirus outbreak, according to İpek Meydancı, another volunteer student.
“We are having great feedbacks. We also tried to get parents involved in our online activities. We have reached out to volunteers and students from all over the country,” she said.
Volunteers go through an orientation program which focuses on communication with pupils before going online to teach.
All class sessions are monitored by the coordination team, said Özge Kobak, a volunteer.
The platform plans to organize summer ateliers between June 1 and June 15, which will bring thousands of students and hundreds of volunteers.