Asia

Lockdown extension will affect school education in country

National Council of Educational Research and Training director Hrushikesh Senapaty speaks to Manash Pratim Gohain on a range of issues the council is presently working on – from guidelines for reopening of schools to online education. Excerpts:
How badly has the coronavirus outbreak impacted school education?
The month of April has been a loss. However, at the behest of the HRD ministry, we designed an alternative calendar for a month to mitigate the loss and ensure basic learning outcomes when students were confined to their homes. At present the summer vacation is on and we are preparing another alternative calendar for subsequent months in case the situation remains unviable. If lockdown continues there will be an adverse effect.
Despite the hype over online classes, the reality is majority of children dont have access.
There are no substitute to teachers and technology cannot replace them. Though in this crisis we are taking help of technology, but later it will be supplementary. The government has launched the E-vidya initiative with each class having a dedicated channel. The class-wise content focuses on learning outcomes as textbooks vary from state to state. We will start some national level programme — more of animation, demonstration and interactives. This will be aimed at the under-served sections. We are building on audio programmes for community radio.
Are schools ready for blended learning?
Blended learning requires digital infrastructure and it takes time to build infrastructure. Many of our teachers too arent aware of online learning, but are now making sincere effort to catch up. During this period, we have learnt many things and we will be future ready to face any challenge any time now.
Schools reopening is a major challenge now?
The ministry asked NCERT to prepare guidelines which will be issued soon. We have submitted the proposals and the MHRD is finalising it. We have suggested various alternative measures including staggered opening, protocols on social distancing protocRead More – Source