As a preventive measure to arrest the spread of Covid-19 in the State, all the elementary/secondary schools and higher educational institutions have been closed down from March 16 to March 29 as per an order issued by the Education department. The institution heads and school teachers were also directed to create awareness among students, parents and community members to prevent or reduce transmission of the deadly corona virus in the respective habitations of the schools during the said period.
However, the Education department felt that closure of schools may create learning gaps among school children and there is a possibility some of them may drop out. So in order to plug the learning gaps and reduce the probability of dropout, the department has proposed some initiatives.
As part of these, institution heads/school teachers will open WhatsApp groups with parents/guardians. Groups may be opened class wise, if number of students and teachers are more in the school. Other free technologies like Google Classroom etc should be explored in future and feedback of the same needs to be shared with the Education department.
For parents/guardians who do not have smartphone facility, schools may identify some local youths of the habitations who have smartphones with the support of SMC/SMDC/MG/concerned CRCC, and request them to provide support to such parents/guardians.
Teachers have been instructed to provide necessary learning support through phone based learning materials, including homework. Students will do the homeworks and teachers will check the answers in WhatsApp itself, and by visiting children who need special attention. Teachers can also share short videos on academic areas and upload it to WhatsApp. Teachers have also been instructed to conduct home visits to students in general and those with learning issues in particular. The academic support may be provided by teachers through phone/WhatsApp during morning hours from 7 am to 9 am or evening hours from 7 pm to 9 pm.