Funds, tests, consolidation of schools in the Ministry of Education’s “learning recovery plan”
The Department of Education has written to states to implement the plan to address the learning deficit caused by school closures during the pandemic
The Ministry of Education has suggested ‘twinning or grouping’ with Kendriya Vidyalaya, Jawahar, Navodaya Vidyalaya or any other local private school to pool resources (Picture: Shutterstock)
NEW DELHI: An annual calendar of activities, financial support for students, funds for primary school teachers and an oral reading proficiency test, are some of the ways the Center aims to save the school education system, disrupted by the pandemic. of COVID-19.
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The Department of Education has written to states and union territories to implement a “learning recovery plan” mitigating the impact of a pandemic on school-level education. The center directed states to include corrective interventions such as financial support for each student, training of teachers in the use of tablets, reinforcement of ICT facilities, a weekly schedule of learning outcomes to be achieved.
The government’s “COVID action plan” also includes a survey to identify out-of-school children and reintegrate them into the school system. States and union territories have been asked to track every child and prepare a school-level child registry by July and August.
States and UTs were urged to incorporate the LRP guidelines when preparing their annual work plan and budget and in their respective Project Approvals Board (PAB) proposals to be submitted to the Ministry of Environment. Education for final approval.
Nirmala Sitharaman, in his 2022 budget speech, had acknowledged that the gross educational disruption due to school closures had resulted in the loss of school education for almost two years for schoolchildren, especially in rural parts of the country. ‘India. The Minister of Finance had also mentioned the need to provide additional teachers in schools.
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Learning Enhancement Program
This program includes areas such as classroom interventions and remedial teaching, provision of teaching resources such as worksheets or workbooks, age-appropriate storybooks, supplementary materials and individualized learning interventions to continue the learning process for all children, including children with special needs.
The Center asked the States to prepare material by level and ensure its delivery to the students. All children must have this package at the start of the 2022-23 academic session.
The government further suggested “twinning or grouping” with Kendriya Vidyalaya, Jawahar, Navodaya Vidyalaya or any other local private school to pool resources. Schools can meet once a month to discuss pedagogy, teaching disabled students, etc.
The National Council for Research and Training, or NCERT, conducted the National Achievement Survey on November 12, 2021 for grades 3, 5 and 8 to assess students’ learning abilities. The letter also asked states to prepare district strategies for post-NAS interventions based on its findings.
Funds for students, teachers
To meet the need for lifelong learning, the ministry asked the school to include financial support of Rs 500 for each student in their annual work plans. Since students in class 1 to 5 are covered by the NIPUN Bharat mission, the plan has been extended to students in class 6 to 10.
Child rights activists and the Forum for the Right to Education have repeatedly pointed out that government spending has been “disappointing” to reduce learning losses caused by the digital divide and the pandemic.
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The government has also extended incentives of Rs 10,000 per capita to 25 lakh primary school teachers. In addition, each teacher will be given a tablet to be able to continue teaching in online or hybrid mode. “To continue with the hybrid learning model, the use of tablets will allow teachers
use resources and content from various digital portals and show them to students,” the letter reads. The tablet will also be used to upload and track the various records, monitor each child’s progress and provide academic support to students when needed.
Separately, the State Council for Research and Training, or SCERT, is required to conduct a teacher training needs analysis in July.
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Fluency test in oral reading
Outside of schools, many students are reported to have fallen behind in reading age-appropriate textbooks. The plan proposes to have oral reading fluency assessment to establish minimum reading benchmarks in different Indian languages for children at grade 3 level and assess performance against these, in order to take corrective actions.
The Center will conduct an oral reading and fluency test to determine the learning gap. Additionally, the ministry will spend Rs 20 lakh for each state and union territory. NCERT will be responsible for conducting this test between March and April. These surveys can be done offline, by telephone or online depending on the pandemic situation.
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Information and communication technologies
To increase teacher efficiency, the center further called on states to strengthen ICT facilities at block and cluster levels. “ ICT facilities at BRC [block resource centre] will enable them to take on a substantial burden of building teacher capacity using face-to-face and online teaching-learning techniques, tools, content and resources aimed at improving the quality and efficiency of the teaching-learning process,” the official letter states. Financial support of Rs. 6.40 lakh one-time costs and Rs 2.40 lakh recurrent costs including tablets will be provided for the ICT facility.
Monthly meetings to discuss academic issues and devise strategies to improve student performance are also part of the center’s recovery plan. The plan speaks of an “Instructional Lesson Planning” exercise to be carried out with teachers by the Head of School, Resource Centers at block or cluster level at least once a month. To support these meetings, financial support of Rs. 1000 for each Cluster Resource Center will be provided as mobility support for visits to CRCs to provide support during the COVID pandemic.
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