India lockdown: Live online classes, activities over SMS for school students

Written by Sukrita Baruah
| New Delhi |

Published: March 31, 2020 1:27:38 am

Children from nursery to Class VIII will be promoted by no-detention policy

Activities over SMSes for younger children and live online classes for older children are part of the Delhi government’s plan to sustain teaching-learning in its schools throughout the lockdown.

On Monday, Education Minister Manish Sisodia also announced that all children from nursery to Class VIII will be promoted to the next class on the basis of the no-detention policy. “In Delhi, exams have been postponed or cancelled in some parts because of the riots, and then because of coronavirus. The decision has been taken that all children up to Class VIII will be promoted to the next class on the basis of the Right to Education Act,” he said.

Schools in Delhi have been closed as a precaution against coronavirus since March 13.

While many private schools have turned to online classes for primary classes, most government school students come from economically strained backgrounds with limited resources. Keeping them in mind, officials said, academic engagement of students will primarily be through generic activities.

“We will be sending out age-appropriate activities via SMS or IVR to parents of nursery to class VIII students. It can be accessible even for those without smartphones. Children can complete these in their notebooks; these can later be counted as part of their internal assessment,” said an education department official.

An example of such a generic activity is a simple problem like a small child being asked to identify five animals that he or she sees around her and to write down what they eat.

Online live classes will be organised only for students of class XII, who need to prepare for their board year. The education department will also collate e-resources, such as e-textbooks it has created and stored, and make them available on its website.

“We have found that most students in Class XII have access to a smartphone. Live classes will be through a technological platform that students can access. We have identified 11 subjects in which the highest number of students are enrolled and will conduct two classes per day as per a time-table. We are identifying teachers from our schools to conduct these. These classes will also be recorded so any child who was unable to attend can view them later,” said the official. Students who register for the online classes will be provided a subsidy of Rs 200 for their data usage.

Sisodia also said the government is planning to air the classes on a TV channel, if the need arises.

These steps are due to be rolled out in the first week of April. However, in the event that schools remain shut beyond April 15, the government will take a call on how to reach out to students of classes IX, X and XI as well.

Meanwhile, private schools in NCR, like Shiv Nadar School and Amity, have begun or are set to begin new academic sessions for all classes through e-learning.

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