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Sikkim to adopt home-schooling for elementary education

Wednesday, Jul 15, 2020 12:00 [IST]

Last Update: Wednesday, Jul 15, 2020 06:22 [IST]

Sikkim to adopt home-schooling for elementary education

Guidelines issued for home-schooling during lockdown

SE Report
GANGTOK: With schools remaining closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic and students in the age group of 6-14 years being deprived of elementary education, the State government has now decided to take the school to the child by implementing the concept of home-schooling. The concept would include elementary teachers visiting the homes of such students and teaching the students.
A meeting to discuss the modalities regarding home-schooling during the lockdown held at Education department in the capital last week. The meeting chaired by Elementary Education director Bhim Thatal was attended by additional director (West), JD elementary education, JD secondary education, JD East, DD South, JDs of EE and East, SCERT and DIET faculty members, school-heads and primary teachers, a press release informs.
Director Thatal while presenting the concept of home-schooling mentioned that Article 21A of the Constitution guarantees free and compulsory elementary education for the children in the age group from 6 years to 14 years as fundamental right.  However, in recent times, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, children of this age group have been grossly deprived of the right to have free and compulsory education.
According to Thatal, home-schooling would mean that if the child is not able to come to school, let the school go to the child. The students at home should have access to education through teachers, parents, school management committee members and such other stakeholders coming together and supporting education of the children at home. Medium and resources like digital media, online classes, voluntary support from the youths and D.EL Ed and B Ed students and various other means are required to be harnessed. Child centric learning and change of method to adapt with the needs of the students is required. Parenting component is also an important factor of home-schooling. 
A proposal on home-schooling was submitted to the government which was accepted and approved after which the Education department today issued guidelines for the purpose of home-schooling in Sikkim during the lockdown period:
The guidelines states that home-schooling will cater to educational needs of students from KG classes to class 8 as per the provisions of the Right of the Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009. There will be three levels of approach for home-schooling (i) for KG (ii) for Classes 1 to 5 and (iii) for 6 to 8 with different strategy to cater to their educational needs. 
Surveying and mapping physical locations of students and teachers will be done by the Block and Cluster Resource Centre Coordinators (BRCCs and CRCCs) to locate students and teachers along with any other individual (D El Ed, B Ed, college students, educated youths) willing and capable to cater to the educational needs of the students. Heads of institutions should formulate strategies and map challenges. They will monitor, help and support the teachers in making learning happen effectively.
Teachers will have the liberty to adopt innovative and possible medium of teaching and as far as practicable, personal attention will be provided to the primary learners. However, for the students of classes 6 to 8, a combination of digital learning and personal attention will be adopted.
Pre-primary teachers, primary teachers, Graduate Teachers, BRCCs and CRCCs will be engaged for this purpose at different levels. Active participation of the stakeholders school management committee members, public representatives, parents, elder students, educated youths, D.El Ed students in the locality will be there in home-schooling, the guideline reads.
Methods like meeting at suitable place other than school, visiting homes of students or calling the students to the homes of teachers with abundant precaution against viral infection, maintaining social distancing and other Covid-19 protocol would be adopted.
Curriculum slash and prioritization of learning at different levels will be analysed by the teachers. Essentially important contents as expected for a child at a given grade would be incorporated in the remaining part of the academic curriculum in line with the revised NCERT calendar and with the support of the SCERT.
During the lockdown period, many private and unorganised schools are also closed and the students going to such schools are equally deprived. Hence, extending support to students of private schools also will be the role of the teachers of the government schools so that education as a welfare activity is realized, the release mentions.

Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi