Srinagar: The Ministry of Education (MoE) on Monday said the prolonged closure of the schools in the States and UTs, due to the outbreak of Covid-19 interrupted the learning of students from pre-school to class 12th.
The Minister of State (MoS) in MoE said they held several consultations with the States and UTs to assess the various aspects and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic
"Due to the closure of schools pan-India students at all levels suffered learning losses," the MoS in his written reply said while replying to the queries raised by the Member Parliament E T Mohammed Basheer.
The MoS said the MoE issued guidelines for identification, smooth admission process and continued education of children in order to mitigate the impact of challenges thrown by the COVID-19 pandemic for students particularly migrant children and for preventing dropouts, lower enrolments and loss of learning.
"To ensure that children have access to education with quality and equity and to minimize the impact of the pandemic on school education in the country, the Department of School Education prepared and issued detailed guidelines on the steps to be taken by the States and UTs," the MoS in his written reply said.
Notably, the guidelines included identification of out of school children from age 6-18 years, enrolment drives and awareness generation, student support while schools are closed, continued education for children with Special Needs (CWSN), student support on school reopening and Teacher capacity building.
Notably, the Directorate of School Education Kashmir (DSEK) in 2021 ordered for starting remedial classes in government and private schools to mitigate the learning gap among students and overcome the loss due to missing school days because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The remedial classes were started amid the poor learning levels of the students in the schools across Valley.
The initiative continued for the next academic session 2022 wherein the class work in schools continued for a prolonged period owing to the learning gaps developed by students during the previous years.
"The students had developed learning gaps during the last two years due to the prolonged closure of schools due to the Covid-19 outbreak," the DSEK earlier told Greater Kashmir.
Meanwhile, the Department of School Education and Literacy (DSEL) in 2021 shared a comprehensive Covid Action plan with States and UTs for mitigating the loss of learning.
"Extensive use of Radio, Community radio and CBSE Podcast- Shiksha Vani besides special e-content was developed for visually and hearing impaired on Digitally Accessible Information System (DAISY) and in sign language on NIOS website and YouTube," the MOS Education in his written reply said.
The written reply of the MoS Education reads that under Samagra Shiksha, approaches such as remedial teaching and bridge courses were used at the elementary level and more progressive approaches like Learning Enhancement Programme are implemented by identifying the learning gaps and equipping students with the core learning per-requisites for the particular grade.
"Moreover, various digital initiatives have been taken by the ministry to facilitate the learning environment," he said.
He said the MoE conducted the National Achievement Survey (NAS) in November 2021 in 717 districts of the country including some districts in Jammu and Kashmir to assess learning levels of sampled children of class 3,5, 8 and 10.
"The aim and objective of NAS is to evaluate children's progress and learning competencies as an indicator of the health of the education system, so as to take appropriate steps for remedial actions at different levels," he said.