But, a new study District Institute of Education and Training Pune (DIET) shows that students made little or no progress while learning from home and the loss of learning was more pronounced.
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Close to 90% of parents with their wards studying in primary classes and 94% of their teachers in the Pune district have said that the students have suffered a learning loss in the 2020-21 academic year.
This survey by the District Institute of Education and Training Pune (DIET) covered 15 talukas of Pune district with 14,320 parents and teachers participating. The final report titled ‘Learning Loss Recovery Programme’, is probably the first such initiative by any district to guage and compensate to some extent the learning loss for students in the context of Marathi and mathematics and to guide parents on how to help them cope.
The report recommends the need for keeping the initial months of the new academic year reserved for revision of the previous year’s topics.
As per the programme, the teachers are supposed to download the classwise PDF files made available to them on the common link and send these weekly learning materials to the parents of the students in their class who have access to online devices.
An online meeting of such parents should be held to guide them on how to take this forward. For those parents with no online access, a weekly photocopy of these activities should be made available and parents should be guided on how to use them through home visits.
Every Saturday, parents will be sent an online test based on the weekly material. It should be solved by the students.
For parents who are not able to go online, the photocopy of this test will be sent by the teacher. Even if the school starts on June 15 in the new academic year, parents should continue to take these actions for their children, says the report.
Divisional head of DIET Rajesh Bankar said, “The motive of this exercise was to reduce the learning loss that students were facing. We felt that if we do not identify the losses and provide a way forward, then there could be major troubles in teaching-learning process in the upcoming academic year.”
The institute has prepared PDF files of various activities in language and maths that would motivate and inspire the students and make a positive change in the personality of students, Bankar said.
The entire learning loss programme is recommended by DIET to the students of Std I to VIII at present for students in Pune district and could also be replicated by other districts.
The programme is scheduled for May 31 to July 11. The elements included in learning, reading, elocution, communication and writing abilities in language subjects and for Maths based on every standard number activities like multiplication, division, addition and subtraction modules are prepared.
The government must ensure quick and effective implementation of DIET Pune’s LLRP program across the state, said Mayur Shinde, convenor, Action for the Rights of the Child (ARC) Pune.
“The LLRP provides guidelines for the teachers and parents to continue the education of the children in case the schools do not reopen or partially reopen in the next academic year. The programme suggests involving educated parents and community youth as volunteers to support the parents in educating their children. Local NGOs can be involved in training and coordinating with the volunteers for conducting educational activities for the children in the communities. However, the government should seriously think of paying these volunteers instead of expecting charity at the community level,” he added.