The Gujarat education department has reached out to over 28 lakh students of government schools — covering 66.66 per cent of those enrolled — under its ‘Study from Home’ initiative, started amid the lockdown imposed in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.
The eight week-long teaching campaign through social media was stared on March 28 for over 43.23 lakh government school students from Class III till IX for English, Mathematics, Gujarati subjects.
The tribal district of Narmada has topped the list of districts, with 88 percentage of students able to get the weekly assignments.
While Dang, another tribal district, recorded the lowest percentage,18, with only 6,300 out of 35,500 undertaking the assignments.
“While the Centre has issued instructions to schools to conduct a similar study from home programme recently, we are doing it since the last three weeks. Evaluation of answer sheets of Class X and XII state board examinations too have started from April 16,” said Gujarat Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama.
The state had already started teaching through various television channels since last month.
State Project Director Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) P Bharathi said, “The weekly assignments are handed over to Block Resource Co-ordinators (BRC) and Cluster Resource Co-ordinators (CRC) who distribute this literature to all teachers every Saturday through WhatsApp and email. The teachers ensure that these assignments are delivered to parents through WhatsApp groups and also stay in touch with students through calls and the messaging app.”
“Every attempt has been made to reach out to maximum students. For instance, if the parent does not have a smart phone, the teacher ensures it is delivered through the neighbours or even the village sarpanch. For those who have been left out, we are still trying to contact them and provide them with the assignments,” Bharathi added.
Among all municipal schools, Surat Municipal Corporation schools have reached out to only 48 per cent of students, while other municipal schools have recorded 70-80 per cent.
Surat has a large migrant population, and children of many of them studying in these municipal schools were not able to be contacted and thus enrolled under the project.
The assignments cover literature of both the previous class as well as the one in which the student will be promoted in the new academic session.
This year, under its new project, the state education department had planned to offer the school readiness and revision literature to students of primary classes as the new academic session was to commence from April 20 unlike every year in June.
“Since we had this school readiness and revision literature already prepared and scheduled as part of the new academic session, we did not waste any time in handing it out to the students. Since, the session has been postponed to June due to the lockdown, this was the best option we could explore,” said Gujarat Council of Educational Research and Training (GCERT) Director T S Joshi.
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