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West Bengal: Parents collect printed study materials from madrassas to close digital divide

Teachers are handing over study materials to parents when they visit madrasahs to collect non-cooked food items meant for the mid-day meal scheme. They were asked to return the assignment papers, completed by their children, to the teachers on a particular date.

By: PTI | Kolkata |
July 28, 2020 11:43:53 am
madrassa, religious education, madrassas, digital divide, online classes, lockdown impact, online courses, education news, Around six lakh students, including non-Muslims, study in 614 recognised Madrassas under the Board. (Express Photo)

In a novel way to minimise the digital divide in imparting education to students during the COVID-19 time, teachers of around 600 madrassas of West Bengal have been distributing printed study materials and assignments to parents, an official said on Monday.

Teachers are handing over study materials to parents when they visit madrasahs to collect non-cooked food items meant for the mid-day meal scheme, West Bengal Madrasah Board President Sheikh Abu Taher Kamruddin said. They were asked to return the assignment papers, completed by their children, to the teachers on a particular date.

As educational institutes are closed since March when the lockdown was imposed, the authorities have started live classes on television channels and digital platforms, besides uploading study materials on WhatsApp. But these measures were not reaching to a large number of students hailing from poor socio-economic background, Kamruddin told PTI.

“We then decided that teachers will prepare subject-wise study materials and assignments for all classes and respective madrasah management would distribute these among parents and guardians. The assignments include home tasks as well as periodic examinations,” the Board president said.

Read | Education dreams fade for millions in digitally divided India

Guardians have been asked to return completed assignment sheets on designated day slots during the first two weeks of August, he said.

“The objective of the project is to involve students for better studying and establish a routine by giving them activities during the period when they are forced to stay at home,” he said.

Kamruddin said that the programme has been successfully rolled out in all the districts of West Bengal in past one month and the response is “overwhelming”.

Different time schedules have been given to guardians of students of high madrassas and senior madrasahs.

Around six lakh students, including non-Muslims, study in 614 recognised Madrassas under the Board. Out of the total recognized madrasahs, 554 are co-educational, 57 are for girls and three are boys. The medium of teaching is Urdu in 17, according to the website of the West Bengal Madrasah Board.

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