The Gujarat Education department has launched a television-based dedicated ‘home learning’ programme for students of classes I and II from September 1, which is being broadcast through DD Girnar. The department had launched a similar education programme through television channels from March for classes III to XII which was followed by home learning programme from June 15 for these classes.
Various other modes like live streaming and online classes for teaching students of classes III to XII were added in July and August. However, these lower primary classes were so far not covered under any of the state’s learning programmes.
“Since nobody knew in the beginning how long this Covid-19 situation would continue for, lessons for classes III to XII were started but realising that children of classes I and II cannot stay away from learning for so long, we launched this special programme for them too,” said Project Director, Samagra Shiksha Gujarat, P Bharathi.
To overcome the challenge of concentration and engagement of six and seven-year-old children through television, brainstorming sessions for content preparation were carried out at Gujarat Council of Educational Research and Training (GCERT).
Extending the scope
During a survey by the education department from parents and teachers on the ongoing teaching programmes in government schools, questions were being raised on the reason for excluding students of classes I and II. Thus, the learning programme for classes I and II has been launched two-and-a half months after officially launching the home learning programme for the other classes. Teachers of classes I and II have been asked to watch this content and take feedback from parents.
“There were no such virtual lessons for such small children of government schools which we can refer to or improve upon. Thus, keeping the child’s psychology in mind, we decided to divide the 27 minute lesson in such a way that the introduction for mentors (parents or elder siblings) is kept to the minimum of two minutes, which is followed by activity-based content like antakshari with words, animated stories, use of toys, songs, rhymes, puppets and colourful pictures with content integrated between all these,” said Kalpesh R Patel, a government teacher at Ganeshpura village in Dehgam taluka of Gandhinagar who is one of the resource group members and Gujarati subject expert responsible for creation and recording of home learning lessons for classes I and II.
Instructions for parents are also issued making them facilitators, to ensure children watch these lessons and they also follow these activities at their home post telecast.
“Keeping in view the age of the children studying in Class I and II through a television, we seek their parents to join their children in watching the home learning episodes and help them in learning activities. During the programme, teachers give easy-to-understand instructions and suggestions to the parents to help them support in learning of their children,” said Prakash Trivedi from Samagra Shiksha.
“After completion of the episode, it is expected from the parents at home to conduct the same activity using the materials available at home. It will help the child not only to co-relate the content taught during the session with their immediate environment but also help in revision,” he added.
These episodes are prepared by a resource group of experts and recorded at Bhaskaracharya Institute of Space Applications and Geoinformatics (BISAG) studio in Gandhinagar. Activities conducted during the session are designed in such a way that students learn the lesson and enjoy their learning too. Gujarati language lessons are telecast on every Monday and Friday and Mathematics on every Tuesday and Saturday.
The programme also contains special ‘school readiness’ activities. “The initial four episodes are based on the school readiness programme that includes songs, rhymes, short stories, drawing, colouring, art and craft activities. Unlike the usual school readiness programme launched for three to four weeks, this could not be extended for long as it would give an impression among parents that no content or teaching is being done through television,” said Kalpesh Patel.
The state education department had launched the ‘school readiness programme’ for Class I students in 2019. The government school teachers had included this programme at the first one hour for 21 days where activity books were prepared for both students and teachers.
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