Union Minister for Education Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ on Monday released the NCERT eight-week alternative academic calendar for upper primary stage developed under the guidance of the ministry.
In order to engage students meaningfully during their stay at home due to COVID-19 through educational activities at home with the help of their parents and teachers, the alternative academic calendars for students, parents and teachers at primary and upper primary stage have been developed.
Speaking on the occasion, the Minister said that the calendar will empower the students, teachers, school principals and parents to find out positive ways to deal with COVID-19 using on-line teaching-learning resources and also improving their learning outcomes getting school education at home.
Nishank added that the calendar at upper primary stage (Classes VI to VIII) was released for four weeks. Now the calendar for the next eight weeks at an upper primary stage has been released. He further said that the calendar provides guidelines to teachers on the use of various technological tools and social media tools available for imparting education in fun-filled, interesting ways, which can be used by learner, parents and teachers even while at home.
He also said that it has taken into account, the varying levels of access to such tools-Mobile phone, Radio, Television, SMS and various social media. The fact that many of us may not have internet facility in the mobile phone, or may not be able to use different social media tools- such as Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc., the calendar guides teachers to further help parents and students through SMS on mobile phones or through voice call. Parents are expected to help elementary stage students to implement this calendar.
The Minister highlighted that this calendar will cater to the need of all children including Divyang children(Children with Special Need)- link for Audiobooks, Radio programmes, Video programme will be included.
Pokhriyal informed that the calendar contains week-wise plan consisting of interesting and challenging activities, with reference to theme/chapter taken from syllabus or textbook. Most importantly, it maps the themes with the learning outcomes. The purpose of mapping of themes with learning outcomes is to facilitate teachers/parents to assess the progress in the learning of children and also to go beyond textbooks. The activities given in the calendar focus on learning outcomes and can thus be achieved through any resource including the textbooks children are using in their state or UT.
It also covers experiential learning activities such as Arts Education, Physical Exercises, yoga, pre-vocational skills, etc. This Calendar contains class-wise and subject-wise activities in tabular forms. This Calendar includes activities related to four languages as subject areas, i.e., Hindi English, Urdu and Sanskrit. This calendar also gives space to the strategies of reducing stress and anxiety among teachers, students and parents. The calendar includes a link for Chapter wise e-content available on the e-pathshala, NROER and DIKSHA portal of GoI.
All the given activities are suggestive in nature, not prescriptive, nor is the sequence mandatory. Teachers and parents may opt to contextualise the activities and do those activities that the student shows interest in, irrespective of the sequence.
NCERT has already started having live interactive sessions with students, parents and teachers through several TV channels and youtube live (NCERT Official Channel).
Daily Monday to Saturday these sessions are telecast for secondary 9 am to 10:30 am, for primary classes from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm, for upper primary classes from 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm and higher secondary classes from 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm. In addition to interacting with the viewer, hands-on activities along with the teaching of topics are demonstrated in these live sessions This calendar would also be disseminated by conducting video conferencing with SCERTs/SIEs, Directorates of Education, Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan, Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti, CBSE, State School Education Boards, etc.