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In-school and home learning will be the new normal

May 30, 2020

The Union HRD ministry is working on a proposed framework to reduce the in-school learning hours to 600 hours and 100 days with equal proportion of active learning hours at home. The conventional model with 220 working days and 1,320 hours of in-school learning will be replaced with a blend of in-school and home learning under a new ‘normal’ imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic.  

The remaining hours are likely to include interventions from doctors and counsellors at school or home for emotional well-being of children. According to ET, in its guidelines on reopening of schools, the HRD ministry is expected to ask all schools to focus on underprivileged children who do not have access to online tools and children with special needs to help adapt to new ways of learning. The centre will also be asking all states to grant admissions to the children of migrant workers and others who have faced displacement at the nearest schools on the basis of any identity card. The schools in the areas from where the migrant labourers have left will be asked not to create a database of students who haven’t returned to class after they reopen. The HRD ministry is likely to recommend schools for remedial classes for these students apart from learning with social distancing norms.

It is proposed that schools would reopen with 30 to 50 percent attendance at one time in shifts. Primary classes may attend school only twice a week while classes 6 to 8 may have to attend 2 to 4 times a week and classes 9 to 12 may have to attend 4 to 5 times a week. A weekly time table has been proposed with flexibility in attendance and sick leave formats. According to sources, there would be changes in the assessment/exam system as well. The Ministry is likely to announce role play, quizzes, presentations in class, and project work and portfolios at home to assess the performance of students. It is being said that well-being of teachers and staff has also been given importance in the proposed framework.

Students from secondary section can be given the responsibility to ensure that the social distancing norms and hygiene are being followed. A separate guideline will be issued for mid-deal meal scheme in government schools suggesting to ensure disinfection of kitchens and serving areas. Hostels will have temporary partitions to ensure social distancing and only screened staff will be permitted within the premises. If transport is being provided by the schools, the buses need to be sanitised twice daily and should ensure one child per seat policy. Schools will have to work on their budget for devices such as thermometre and set up a task force to ensure proper measures related to COVID.

Source: Economic Times

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