Virtual classes on Swayamprabha channel and national broadcaster Doordarshan; YouTube links to chapters; and the “drop box” option for students without smart phones or TV.
These are part of the 2020-21 academic calendar for students from Class 9 to 12, according to a circular by the Uttar Pradesh Secondary Education Board (UPSEB). The revised schedule, announced due to the coronavirus pandemic, will come into effect from August 18 and remain in force till the end of the academic year depending on the Central government’s Covid-19 guidelines.
In a circular released on Thursday, the board said the examinations can be held online or offline after considering government’s Covid-19 guidelines.
The government has already introduced e-books on Diksha portal with YouTube links and decided to expand this initiative by streaming class-wise lectures on Swayamprabha and Doordarshan channels.
To ensure students without digital devices or TV do not lag behind the schedule, UPSEB brought in the “drop box” facility under which study material would be sent to them. These students are also allowed to submit their answer sheets in the “drop box” kept in the school once a week or a month.
Sources said around 18-20 per cent students in the state lack access to online classes. The number of such students is higher in Mirzapur division of Eastern UP and Chitrakoot region of Bundelkhand.
Study material for them has been prepared by “Patrachar Shikshan Sansthan” (Uttar Pradesh State Open School) in Prayagraj.
The revised calendar has been sent to each district, and school inspectors asked to publicise it. The inspectors have been directed to train principals with help from National Informatics Centre (NIC) experts so that they can in return train their teachers.
The syllabus for the current academic year has also been uploaded on the web portal of UPSEB, Prayagraj.
As per the schedule, the syllabus has to be completed by January. Internal examinations for Class 9 and 11 are to be conducted in February and board examinations for Class 10 and 12 in March and April respectively.
Before the examinations, schools have been asked to mark various national holidays, birth anniversaries of freedom fighters, such as Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel, or special academic sessions by virtually participating in various competitions.
For example, Independence Day can be celebrated by participating in online activities while the head of the institute can hoist the Tricolour on the premises.
Even sports, NCC, NSS teams are to be selected online by the end of August. Around the same time, monthly examinations will be held online.
Schools will virtually celebrate “Hindi Pakhwara” by holding debates, essay competitions from September 1 to September 15.
UPSEB has also directed schools to select working committee of the Parents-Teachers Association by calling an online meeting. A senior government officer said though a proper schedule was released now, the experiment with online classes had started on May 1 when lessons for Class 10 and 12 were telecast on Swyamprabha.
Every school was asked to form WhatsApp groups for each class and subject, he said. Sources said about 600 videos were made for the purpose with the help of APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University in Lucknow.
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