Srinagar: The Department of School Education and Literacy (DSEL), Government of India (GoI) has asked all the states and Union Territories (UTs) to establish a Control & Command Centre (CCC) for teachers and schools to keep track of enrolled students.
The directions have been issued amid the extended closure of educational institutions in view of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and restrictions imposed to prevent further spread of the deadly virus.
Earlier in April this year, the Secretary Education and Literacy DSEL chaired a Project Approval Board (PAB) meeting of J&K and advised the department to establish a Control & Command Centre (CCC) for teachers and schools to keep track of enrolled students, learning at home, drop outs, information on child labour mainstreamed, Out of School Children (OoSC), textbook delivery, support required by teachers and schools. The PAB meeting was convened to consider the Annual Work Plan and budget 2021-22 under Samagra Shiksha for J&K UT.
During the meeting, it was stated that the Covid-19 pandemic impacted over 240 million children, enrolled in schools, throughout the country. “Extended school closures may cause loss of learning. To mitigate the impact of the pandemic, the schools will need to remodel and re-imagine the way teaching and learning have happened so far,” the official document reads.
DSEL stated that there was also a need to introduce a suitable method of delivering quality education through a healthy mix of schooling at home and school.
“With the present Covid wave which is more virulent and faster spreading, a need was felt to plan for the challenges ahead and prepare to make progress for the sake of students, parents, community and all stakeholders involved in this pursuit,” the document reads.
In view of this, DSEL prepared a comprehensive Covid-19 response document consolidating all the previous guidelines and intervention to mitigate the impact of the pandemic.
“The guideline delineates detailed action plans and timelines for all stakeholders involved in access, retention, continuous learning, capacity building and stakeholder engagement,” it reads.
Owing to the ongoing pandemic which led to the extended closure of schools, the Centre also directed the J&K government to take various interventions in identifying Out of School Children, mainstreaming them in normal schools, increasing enrolment and maintaining retention of students in schools.
“Intervention is needed in academic learning and cognitive development of students besides their capacity building with specific focus on response to blended and home-based learning including student assessments and data use,” read the minutes of PAB meeting. The department has also been asked to provide nutritional, socio-emotional support to systems’ actors and students besides digital education and systems' development for monitoring, tracking and remediation.
The Government of India has also advised all the States and UTs to consider having a helpline or IVRS for students and parents for some time. “This helpline could be of great help to students and parents with regard to tracking textbooks, worksheets, solving queries, getting information on digital modes,” the document reads.
The J&K government has been further advised to undertake its own capacity building online programmes for its teachers on various aspects related to teaching and learning in pandemic times.
“Teachers may visit students at least once in a week, with a brief plan of interaction with students and parents, particularly in far-flung and remote areas where access to digital devices is minimal,” read the minutes of the meeting.