In a bid to engage students in learning activities during their stay at home amid nationwide COVID-19 lockdown, Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank on Thursday released an ‘Alternative Academic Calendar’ for students of classes six to eight.
"The alternative academic calendars at primary and upper primary stage (Classes VI to VIII) have been developed by the NCERT under the guidance of the MHRD," read an official statement.
Earlier on April 16, the Union Minister had released a similar academic calendar for primary class students.
"This 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 learners, parents, and teachers even while at home," the statement quoted Pokhriyal as saying.
The HRD Minister acknowledged that many students may lack internet facilities at home, making it difficult to adapt digital learning through social media tools- such as WhatsApp, Facebook, twitter, google, etc. However, the calendar guides teachers to guide parents and students through SMS on mobile phones or through voice call. Parents have been asked to help elementary stage students to implement the Alternate Academic Calendar.
HRD Minister Pokhriyal said that very soon the Calendar will cover all the remaining classes-- 9 to 12. The statement said it contains a week-wise plan comprising of engaging based on the themes or chapters taken from the syllabus. The Calendar also covers experiential learning activities including Arts Education, Physical Exercises, yoga, pre-vocational skills, etc. The activities are listed class-wise and subject- in tabular forms.
To meet the need for digital learning amid lockdown, HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank on Wednesday launched the national programme -- VidyaDaan 2.0 – to invite teachers' contribution to e-learning content.
"VidyaDaan is a common national program to develop and contribute e-learning content and a chance to be recognised nationally. The content to be used on DIKSHA app will help millions of children across the country to continue their learning anytime and anywhere," said the Union HRD Minister.
The COVID-9 situation has created an urgent need to integrate digital education with schooling. Pokhriyal said the demand can be met by educationists, subject experts, schools, colleges, universities, institutes, government and non-government organisations, individuals, etc.
(With inputs from ANI)