This article showcases the educational scenario during the lockdown of the government schools in Delhi. Cases of various states are provided which is coping up well during this pandemic to support online education. Alternative suggestions are provided to uplift the educational facilities for students with internet access and students in remote areas. Administration and government-related initiatives are hence mentioned to have an inclusive approach towards building online educational infrastructure.
Written by: Satarupa Roy
Alternative Educational Initiatives for Government Schools in Delhi
Teachers, students and parents have entered a virtual world of teaching, learning, and worksheets as COVID 19 lockdown has brought colleges and schools to shut down. The State governments all over India are taking various steps to mitigate the issue and continue the process of education. Though this process of distant online learning is new but the people are trying to adjust and adapt to the changes. Major concern still remains for the low income and middle income groups. Affording Online Classes and electronic Gadgets are difficult for them. Taking into concern both the scenario of various economical groups in Delhi, the suggestions have been formulated.
Firstly, the population which has the reach to the internet accessibility should be encouraged for online learning programmes through various medium. Some initiatives which can be taken up are “Moodle” which is a Community driven open platform for learning; “Class Dojo” which connects teachers, students and parents by classroom communities; “OER” for Open Schooling by Commonwealth of Learning; Online lessons by “TEDEd” and “YouTube” lecture channels which child view mode in every mobile.
The initiative of “Ekstep” can be undertaken, being an Indian platform it should be encouraged under “AatmaNirbhar Bharat” programme which has benefits of analytics and data dashboard which can be accessed by the creator and the learner both. Other Indian apps being “Avanti” which is available in hindi and “Sankalp” which has “NCERT” videos and solved examples. “SWAYAM”, India can also help in assisting courses on range of subjects for schools and universities.
Secondly, the population in remote areas who doesn’t have a proper access to internet facility can go with Remote learning facilities by “Skooler” and “Education Nation”. Classes on “Doordarshan”, free DTH channels and Radio Channels to broadcast activity based learning modules, “Interactive Voice Response” (IVR) and “Short Message Service” (SMS) can also be utilized for bridging the gap of learning.
Lastly, the administration and government to take up initiatives to empower “Digital India” in various remote areas with WiFi hotspots, “Bharat Net” which will enrich rural broadband facility and improve digital connectivity. Funds should be sanctioned for Make in India electronic gadgets so that employment could be generated and the products could be sold in affordable prices.
The government should also modify the teaching and learning method by training the teachers and parents through Social media and Television channels on operations of online classes. Capacity building programs and monthly distribution of grocery items for the compensation of mid day meals can be introduced with a weekly activity day in the schools maintaining social distance norms. Data system for the teachers who can keep a daily and monthly record of the interaction with the parents and submission of the student activities. Setting up an activity chart for lower grades with innovative activities each week to prevent boredom among students and keep their young minds active. Tracing and tracking student activities along with interaction with the parents to have a better understanding of their academic, emotional and social needs. Encouragement through regular phone calls and messages for monitoring the issues faced by the student and teacher especially for the lower grades with counselling sessions on poor attendance and the child’s career. Mentoring programs discussing the ground issues with the teachers, policy implementers and administrators for having an inclusive plan. Delhi Government can work in partnership with local Media partners; non-profit organizations like TEDEd, Wikimedia Foundation, Code.org, Khan Academy; network providers; multilateral partners like OECD, ADB, World Bank, UNESCO, WHO, UNICEF, UNP, Global Education Cluster for innovation, economical support and IT technologies. The schools having practical or machinery based learning should reconsider the syllabus conducting theory based classes online while practical classes could be conducted by video recording the functioning of the machines or the lab experiments and sending the same to the students so that they can access it anytime for future learning.
Haryana, Rajasthan could be taken up as case studies for improving the online Education System and Parent teacher responsiveness as these states have been pro-actively working on the basic Education to the communities. Trying to build back better infrastructural facilities for better education response through planning and policy intervention.
About the Author : Satarupa Roy
The author is an Architect, Urban Planner from School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi. She is committed towards building sustainable and liveable cities with focus towards socio economic development of the communities.
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