Government issues guidelines for holding community classes

Classes to be held in adherence to Covid-19 SoPs Duration of each class not to exceed 40 minutes
Government issues guidelines for holding community classes
Muneer Alam, a private school teacher, teaching students at the first ‘Open Air School’ at Eidgah ground in Srinagar set up by him in wake of lockdown imposed to curb the spread of deadly coronavirus. [Image used for representational purpose only]Source: Mubashir Khan/GK

Srinagar, June 29: The J&K School Education Department (SED) has issued guidelines for holding community classes by volunteer teachers in areas where students do not have access to internet service and remain unavailable for online teaching.

The Directorate of School Education Kashmir (DSEK) in a circular issued has directed the volunteer teachers to conduct the classes within the notified syllabus prescribed by Jammu and Kashmir Board of School Education (BOSE) or CBSE.

Besides, the DSEK has put a cap of 40 minute on each class and directed the teachers to draw a proper timetable every week in consultation with the local community.

The guidelines have been issued after the administrative department approved resumption of community classes in the areas where school children do not have access to internet facilities and smart phones thus remain unavailable for online teaching.

“In view of the relaxations in the further lockdown, it is high time to think of the education of the children who have not been reached through online means during the lockdown due to one or another reason,” the DSEK said in a circular.

It said that the initiative of holding community classes should be carried with the active support of the local community without compromising on Covid-19 SoPs notified by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the J&K government from time to time.

“The community school should be prioritised for those children who are not connected through online classes and should in no way be considered an alternative to online classes. Online classes should continue for the connected children through Learning Management System (LMS) or Real Time Video Conferencing Apps or conference calls and other digital platforms,” the circular reads.

Stating that the community schooling was purely a community intervention, the DSEK in the circular has stated that a local committee should be framed per community school comprising of Parents, VEC members, SMC members and other prominent persons headed by senior head of the institution from the habitation, village or mohalla for monitoring, mentoring, hand holding and support of the community school.

“Masks, sanitisers and Teaching Learning Equipment will also be arranged from willing NGOs in the proximity and corporate houses under CSR. The cook-cum-helpers for MDM available in the locality will help in ensuring cleanliness and maintenance of good health and hygiene of the students in the community school,” the circular reads.

The community schools, as per the department circular, will function in open area or ground while maintaining distance of two metres between the students.

“In case of non-availability of such space, staggered schedule and student rotation can be an option,” the circular reads.

For the convenience of teachers, the department has allowed them to participate in the community classes in their neighbourhood.

The teachers have been asked to register their names with the ZEO in case of elementary school, Headmaster in case of High School and Principal in case of Higher Secondary School.

“All students and teachers should wear masks and no one should be allowed without masks. Hand washing points with proper soap should be made available for the students and teachers,” the circular reads.

The teachers have been instructed to focus on mental health and psychosocial counselling besides focusing on learning outcomes and remedial teaching of the children.

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