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Need to find lost education again

by Vijay Garg
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Schools should be opened, but with caution.  Of course, while opposing my point, you can ignore the scientific facts, which show that schools can be opened without worrying about the spread of corona, but how will you ignore the problems of most of the country’s 240 million school children?  In the last 16 months, only a select few have been able to get education through online classes, private tutoring and family support.  Most of the studies are closed since March 2020.  And, most of them have forgotten the lessons they knew when schools were closed. They are also deprived of the mid-day meal, which was the most nutritious meal of the day for many children.  We also do not know how many of these children will be able to return to school now, as the economic devastation caused by the pandemic has forced many to work as labour.
Clearly, the condition of education in the country is very bad.  Therefore, the real displeasure should be about the non-opening of schools.  And, even more anger should be shown about the loss of learning in children.  Surprisingly, some states are expressing concern about this loss in education and are even planning to restart schools, as if the last year and a half was a normal ‘holiday’ for children.
The loss of nearly 200 million children in their 16 months and a valuable time of learning and understanding is no small figure.  We cannot ignore it.  Not only will it be very difficult for them to get back what they have lost, but it will also be impossible to learn much later.
In such a situation, it is good that children should be taught all that they could not learn in the last 16 months and what they have forgotten.  But how will this happen?  Let us understand this with an example- imagine a sixth grade.  After the reopening of schools, teachers will have to decide what level of understanding is left in the children.  Some children may be in the fourth grade level, some may even be in the second or third grade level.  The teacher has to make different groups of all the children and teach them accordingly, so that all of them can be brought on the same level to start the sixth grade curriculum. It is true that the understanding of learning of children in any class  are not the same, so the expectation of perfection is redundant, but an authentic standard of children must be created.
But how will teachers do all this effectively?  For this, first of all, all the schools and teachers should be unanimous that they will not ignore the loss of the last 16 months and will bring the academic level of the students to the exact same level, where, helplessly, to test the academic understanding of the children.  Scientifically prepared learning material should be made available for  For example, there should be such books for the sixth grade, in which the major lessons from the first story to the fifth grade should be recorded.  And thirdly, the most important thing is to spend enough time to do all this.  If we want to open the school early, then we can start studies from six months (RLT).
After this the curriculum of the children should be designed in such a way that the burden on them is less.  For instance,
After RLT, the syllabus of class VI can be completed in the next six months.  We may have to maintain this arrangement for two-three years.  But it could also be a move to move towards curriculum proposed by the National Policy on Education for 2020, which aims to reduce child burden and promote genuine learning.  It is clear, if we do not make every effort to get back the lost education of more than 200 million of our youth, then the future of our country will be a joke.

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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