Vikash Sharma

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  • NCERT has developed an ‘Alternative Academic Calendar’ for all the stages of school education for the year, 2020-21.

Covid-19 pandemic has adversely impacted the formal education system across the country. Ensuring continuity of learning for children during this pandemic situation has emerged a major challenge.

The National Council of Educational Research & Training (NCERT) has developed an ‘Alternative Academic Calendar’ for all the stages of school education for the year, 2020-21.

As the schools are closed this year too due to lockdowns and other restrictions, the students are compelled to continue their studies from home. Therefore, NCERT has revisited its Alternative Academic Calendar inserting activities for those students and parents who do not have access to any digital device, and also giving more emphasis on integration of assessment into activities.

The basic objective of the alternative academic calendar is to keep children busy and maintain continuity of their learning in the new classes.

As per official sources, the calendar is initially prepared for eight weeks, which may be extended further. Several themes/topics have been selected from the syllabus and are linked with learning outcomes.

Apart from this, guidelines have been developed for conducting interesting activities based on these learning outcomes.

Keeping in view the fact that many parents do not have smart phone as a tool to connect with schools, NCERT has designed activities in such a way that many of those can be conducted by the parents and students on their own after taking guidance from teachers during their home visit or at some identified place in the community.

In case of availability of digital devices with students, teachers can contact parents and students using a range of tools starting from simple mobile phones to internet-based diverse technology tools for giving them appropriate guidelines for conducting these activities mentioned in the calendar.

Guidelines for implementing weekly plan:

- Teachers are advised to call up or visit the parents of the students to appraise them about the conduct of the suggested activities.

- In case Internet is not available at a student’s home, teachers can explain to the parents about each activity over the phone, through SMS or Voice Recorded messages.

Teacher must continuously ensure that the activity has been conducted, through a follow-up.

-If some students have been identified for not having access to any digital devise, teacher needs to plan a visit to the homes of children with worksheets and assessment plan.

- In case of availability of Internet and active WhatsApp, Facebook, Google Hangout, Google Mail, Telegram, the teacher can forward the guidelines to parents with a brief explanation.

-Teachers may stress that students should not be forced to do the activities. Rather, parents should create an atmosphere conducive to learning, for instance, by telling a story or saying “let us play a game.” Parents must also make efforts to participate in all these activities along with the students.

-Before beginning the week-wise alternative academic interventions, teachers need to have a talk with parents on ‘Reducing Stress and Anxiety’.

For more details, visit the official NCERT website. Click here

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