New Delhi: An alternative academic calendar, developed by the NCERT in order to engage students meaningfully during their stay at home due to COVID-19 through educational activities at home with the help of their parents and teachers, was released by Union Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ here on Thursday.
Speaking on the occasion, the minister said the Calendar provides guidelines to teachers on the use of various technological tools and social media tools available for imparting education in fun-filled, interesting ways, which can be used by learner to learn even while at home.
Mr Pokhriyal said all the classes from one to twelve and subject areas will be covered under this calendar which will cater to the need of all children, including those with special needs (divyang) and will have links for audio books, radio programmes, video programmes.
The calendar contains week-wise plan consisting of interesting and challenging activities, with reference to theme/chapter taken from syllabus or textbook. Importantly, it maps the themes with the learning outcomes. The purpose of mapping of themes with learning outcomes is to facilitate teachers/parents to assess the progress in the learning of children and also to go beyond textbooks, an official release here said.
However, it has taken into account, the varying levels of access to such tools — mobile, radio, television, SMS and various social media. The fact that many of us may not have internet facility in the mobile, or may not be able to use different social media tools — such as whatsapp, facebook, twitter, and google — the calendar guides teachers to further guide parents and students through SMS on mobile phones or mobile call. Parents are expected to help elementary stage students to implement this Calendar.
The minister highlighted that the calendar covers experiential learning activities such as arts education, physical exercises, yoga, and pre-vocational skills among others. This Calendar contains class-wise and subject-wise activities in tabular forms.
This Calendar includes activities related to four languages as subject areas, Hindi English, Urdu and Sanskrit. It also gives space to the strategies of reducing stress and anxiety among teachers, students and parents.
Calendar includes link for Chapter wise e-content available on the e-pathshala, NROER and DIKSHA portal of GoI.
The minister also said that all the given activities are suggestive in nature, not prescriptive, nor is the sequence mandatory. Teachers and parents may opt to contexualise the activities and do those activities that the student shows interest in, irrespective of the sequence.
This calendar would be disseminated through DTH channels and also conducting video conferencing with SCERTs, Directorates of Education, SCERTs, Kendriya Vidyalay Sangathan, Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti, CBSE, State School Education Boards.
This will empower the students, teachers, school principals and parents to find out positive ways to deal with Covid-19 using on-line teaching-learning resources and also improving their learning outcomes getting school education at home.