BY FR ZEFERINO D’SOUZA
All the aided and unaided educational institutions’ managements
All the managements may work in tandem with the government guidelines to work on priority basis/urgent basis/essential basis to prepare online content, subject-wise and keeping in mind various levels or stages of education, i.e., pre-primary, primary, secondary, higher secondary and higher education with the help of subject teachers/faculty members and computer teachers.
No doubt, the production may not be perfect or refined but it will help a long way keeping in mind that each institution knows the ground reality of its students and parents as the syllabi and the content of each subject will be the existing same content.
Special attention may be given to Mathematics, Science, Commerce, etc, while preparing online content as they are technical subjects which need interaction between the students and teacher.
Further, special consideration may be given to the students with special needs while preparing online content with the help of special and resource room teachers and computer teachers in order to prepare the special content customised to the needs of the said students in primary, high schools and higher secondary schools and special schools.
of the online content
Keeping in mind what has been said earlier with regards to the present pandemic and the situation created thereby forcing to switch on from classroom to online education we need to provide a “quasi classroom content part of the online content” while concentrating on the planning and refining of online education.
In order to make the online education successful and reach to each and every child at pre-primary, primary, secondary and higher secondary stages, quasi classroom content part for the online education is necessary and mandatory because no matter how effective and versatile is the network and coverage yet there will be some areas where coverage is impossible in our country and even in our State due to geographical conditions or developmental lacuna of financial condition. Hence urgent need arises to provide a quasi classroom content for online education.
Though, the responsibility rests on the government, Central as well as of the State, to prepare and formulate the said content, yet other stakeholders may join hands with the government and work together to see that the quasi classroom content part of the online education becomes a reality so that the education and online education reaches each and every child of our State and of our beloved country.
How to implement
the above to
make it a reality?
Certainly it is a big challenge and a tricky situation, perhaps a first time experiment necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which needs to be taken up in favour of the children who may never get an opportunity later if they are not given serious consideration now or if they are not given top priority to make the education available at their doorstep.
In order to service these children and implement the suggestion to provide the said quasi classroom content, various other stakeholders may be taken into confidence, namely the Municipalities, Zilla Parishads, Panchayats, Anganwadis, Balwadis, Government Primary Schools, aided Primary Schools, etc, and use their services to make this dream a reality and how to translate the suggestion into an idea and how to make this idea a reality.
• All the above stakeholders or some of them may be engaged to conduct some sort of survey to identify in its own area each and every child which otherwise may be left without proper and basic education.
• All these stakeholders may be taken into consideration and come to certain consensus with their help exactly what may be the way out or probable solution in this connection.
• Perhaps small groups or very small groups may be organised keeping in mind the SOPs and guidelines of the present pandemic.
• Instead some teachers may be requested, if possible, to adopt one child by one teacher in order to convey the content in different places, namely, Anganwadis, Balwadis, government and aided Primary Schools safe-guarding the interest of the students and teachers.
• If possible, parents may be helped to assist their children with the content of how to teach their children.
• If possible there may be some sort of teaching through television or as a last resort teaching one to one basis or in small groups with utmost safety and safeguards up keeping and complying with all the guidelines when the situation eases.
• Even the evaluation or testing portion may be considered in a special way.
• In a way this concern may be taken seriously and dealt with accordingly.
As a conclusion
• Online education necessitated by the pandemic is in chaotic condition
•This year may be declared by the Central government as offline or gap year without any formal educational activity
• The Central government may work on priority and urgent basis to enhance and improve the internet connectivity
• Quasi emergency may be declared in economy, including in educational arena
• Austerity measures may be initiated immediately to save education and economy
• Ministry of Human Resource Development may come out with broad guidelines, including the real concept of online education, with regard to converting classroom education into online
• All stakeholders may be taken into confidence in the process of conversion of classroom education into online
• Online education may not be imposed at this present form but all the stakeholders may be conscientised and sensitised to own and to work together
• While preparing the online content special attention may be given to have a quasi-classroom content part of the online education as complementary measure due to the reasons given above
• To implement this measure of quasi classroom content part various other stakeholders may be engaged
Let us hope and work hard together and on a priority basis to implement the suggestions provided to various stakeholders so that online education, future of education, during and post-COVID-19, may be a success and a reality and fruitful to the students and to all the stakeholders.
(The writer is the president of Diocesan Society of Education)