Bhubaneswar: Children all over the world are perhaps the worst sufferers of COVID-19 and the resultant lockdown. With schools closed, they have been robbed of their right to classroom education outdoor play. However, governments and educational institutes have made optimum use of technology to ensure that children don’t remain deprived.
In Odisha, the Odisha Adarsha Vidyalaya Sangathan (OAVS) has taken the challenge head on and started online classes for its students despite poor infrastructure.
The adviser OAVS, is personally monitoring the functioning of the schools along with the State Project Director, Joint Directors, school principals and teachers on a daily basis. The authorities have made sure that no child is left out when it comes to both education and his Mid-Day Meal (MDM).
OAVS is running online classes for its students from Class VI onwards. The academic needs of Class X and XII who will appear in the CBSE Board Examination in 2021 are also being taken care of.
The OAVs face Locational, Technological and Emotional challenges.
With 1,75,840 students spread out in 30 districts of Odisha in remote blocks, making online education available with limited resources is not an easy task.
OAVS is making online classes possible using technology tools with less bandwidth. Children are connected to their teacher and principals through What’s App, YouTube and Voice Calling in groups made for different classes. They have even been given a suggestive time table. The homework is shared in groups.
Where possible, OAVs are using Zoom. Students’ doubts and queries are also addressed on the same platform. Teachers have recorded their videos and also refer to YouTube and send them to the students.
Emotional Challenges and ePathshala
Students who need special attention are given special time by the teachers to explain and help them online with the subject matter.
Attendance is taken as per schedule and if a child is not attending the classes, the class teacher makes a note and follows up with the parents.
Daily meetings and discussions are a routine for OAVS officials. Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) have been developed to maintain minimum progress taking into account the availability of net facilities in the various OAVs.
Suggested weekly timetable
The timetable comprises a study time of six to seven hours every day. This also includes yoga, a short nap and play. The learning mentors are just a phone call away and students are encouraged to interact and clarify their doubts if any. The timetable consists of the following:
There is a stipulated time in the timetable for co-scholastic activities. Children make videos of their activities and send them to their teachers.
Suggestions for OAVians
- Children should follow the instructions of their Principals and teachers and attend online classes regularly.
- Do self-study as per the syllabus given on the website. They should read textbooks and practice writing answers to the questions given in them.
- The students should take this opportunity to explore new topics beyond the curriculum, help in household chores, read books, learn how to cook, practice music and hone co-scholastic skills.
- Children should capitalise the time as teachers spend time with them online to clear doubts if any.
- They should take care of hygiene and wash their hands very often, follow social distancing, avoid community feasting, play indoors, not invite friends or visit friends to play, avoid group study and in case there are symptoms of cold, cough, headache and fever, they should immediately visit the nearest hospital.
“As Indians, it is our prime duty to help our nation in times of distress. I request all our students, parents and guardians to adhere to the guidelines laid by the Government. I’m happy that my OAVians are putting in their best effort and helping me in changing the face of the state through education,” said Dr Bijaya Kumar Sahoo, Adviser OAVS.