Almost a month and a half after Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai launched the Kalika Chetarike programme to bridge the pandemic-induced learning gap among students of Classes I-IX, the initiative was yet to be implemented for want of worksheets.
In an order issued by the state project director of the department of public education, a copy of which is with the indianexpress.com, the government has stated that the printing of worksheets was in its final stages and until the process is completed, schools should seek help of donors including corporates to print photocopies of the first month’s worksheets to teach children. The government has also suggested that schools can utilise their respective grants to print the worksheets, soft copies of which are available on the school department’s website.
However, some teachers complained that getting donors was not a viable option, especially in rural areas.
A government school teacher in Udupi district’s Kundapura taluk said, “I have spent almost Rs 2,000 to get the photocopies of the worksheets for mathematics. If teachers have to spend time on getting photocopies done, how will we focus on teaching? The pandemic has caused learning loss to such an extent that even Class VIII students have forgotten the basics of calculations. One of the reasons for the delay in printing worksheets could be the government’s decision to start finalising the worksheets only in March, just about a month and a half before the schools reopened.”
Another teacher from the CN Hally taluk in Tumkur district said, “We are using a projector to help students go through the worksheets. This is not a practical option because students cannot stare at the screen for long hours.”
A teacher from Bengaluru Rural district said the printing of the worksheets was getting delayed owing to last-minute changes. “The Department of State Education and Research Training (DSERT) is working on last-minute revisions… causing the delay. The teachers have received the programme’s handbook but we are still waiting for worksheets for students. For the time being, we are working on bridge courses for high school students, but the delay in printing worksheets is a cause of concern.
“We should have started the Kalika Chetarike programme by now… the delay is only increasing the learning gap,” the teacher said, adding that the government has promised to deliver the worksheets in the next 10-15 days.
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