The vacations that would begin from May has started a way too early for students, thanks to Covid-19. Parents are anxious as the annual exams have been called off and all students from grade 1 to 8 are promoted to the next grade. Some feel that children will forget whatever they had learnt in this academic year and they would hardly study at home under their guidance. Most of the students come from areas where they live in small spaces. So this is another concern that they will not get an atmosphere to study at home.
Although SVPV Vidyalaya- a government aided school has all the facilities of online classroom, majority of students do not have the facilities of internet at home, or they do not have enough space where they can access the online platform of learning. So how do I ensure that students continue with their daily academic schedules ?
I had a brainstorming session with all my Vice Principal/supervisors and senior teachers and decided a framework, methodology and content that students from std 5 to 9 need to implement while at home during this period of forced vacations.
We all agreed that most of our students are weak in reading and writing skills which is the foundation of any fair academic learning outcome. We already have whatsapp groups of parents with class teachers of each standard. It was hence decided that teachers will upload home assignment of each subject each day as per pre decided time table with instructions. We also have told students to submit this work that they are going to do in a separate notebook when the school reopens. They have to daily read at least a page of textbook/storybook loudly and write at least one page in English, Gujrati, Marathi and Hindi each daily as per given assignments. We are sure that when students will receive these assignments on regular basis from their teachers, they will be serious about it and do at least this much daily. This will surely help them not to forget whatever they have learnt in school this year.
For junior college std 11 students, teachers are informed to upload assignments on our website and a text message is sent to students to continue to access the website and work accordingly. The std 9 and std 11 will appear for annual exams after school reopens and these assignments have to be submitted for internal marks when the college reopens.
Apart from this our teachers are forwarding several free content available on the internet for students that they can access in their free times. There is free availability of Tinkle and other books, stories, audios, and several educators have opened up their digital lessons to every one who is interested. We are educating our students about these free resources too.
I hope that this way students will be committed to their daily assignments and parents also can make them do the work given by teachers daily. Since internal marks are associated I’m sure it will be taken seriously by all.
(Dr. Sangeeta Srivastava, Principal, SVPV VIDYALAYA and Sri TP Bhatia college of Science, Mumbai, Maharashtra)