Government issues guidelines for conduct of community classes

J&K School Education Department on Monday issued Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for conduct of community classes by volunteer teachers in areas where students do not have access to internet service.

As per the SOPs, the teachers will have to conduct the classes within the notified syllabus prescribed by JKBOSE or CBSE.

“Volunteer teachers should draw a proper timetable every week in consultation with local community and the duration of each class should not exceed 40 minute,” reads a circular issued by the department.

The initiative of community classes was started by teachers independently to explore the possibility to reach out to children with no access to online teaching and learning due to digital divide, lack of mobile connectivity and non-availability of smart phones.

“After a series of consultations were held with all stakeholders, it was observed that community classes was the only option to handhold such children with active support of local communities without compromising prescribed COVID19 SOPs,” reads the circular.

As per the instructions, the teachers have been asked that the classes should be held under overall supervision of Directors of School Education, Jammu and Kashmir, Deputy Commissioners, CEOs, ZEOs and school heads.

“Ownership of the initiative should be vested in local committees comprising local teachers, parents, VEC members, school management committee members and prominent persons from the habitation or mohalla for mentoring school children,” reads the circular.

As per the circular, the teachers have been asked to focus on learning outcomes and remedial teaching of children, their mental health and psychosocial counseling.

“Teachers and students who are at high risk due to age or underlying medical conditions should continue with online education from home and should not be associated with community schooling,” the circular reads.

The teachers have been advised to conduct community classes in open areas and grounds where students can sit at least two meters apart from each other.

“In case of non-availability of such space, staggered schedules /shift timings and student rotation should be followed as an option,” the circular reads, adding the students and teachers should wear masks and no one should be allowed to attend classes without masks.

In order to follow the SOPs, hand washing facilities should be made available for all students and teachers to wash hands frequently while maintaining proper physical distance.

“Personal Hygiene of children and hygiene of the surroundings should be ensured by the community. Adequate social distance should be maintained, close contacts should be avoided and teachers should teach and leave the community space individually,” reads the circular.

As per the circular, the students are not allowed to carry their own stationary or books, and exchanging of the items among the students has to be avoided.

“The student safety, self-esteem and security should be ensured by the community volunteers and assistance from local administration should be sought in exigencies,” reads the circular.