HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ released the alternative academic calendar for higher secondary classes (Classes XI and XII) in New Delhi today. The calendar has been developed by the NCERT to engage students meaningfully during their stay at home (due to COVID-19) through educational activities.
Speaking on the occasion, the HRD Minister said 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. However, it has taken into account the varying levels of access of students to different tools and platforms – mobile, radio, television, SMS and various social media.
The calendar will cater to the needs of all children including divyang children (children with special needs) as it provides link for audio books, radio programmes, video programme, etc.
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. He added that 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. He further added that 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.
The minister also highlighted that the calendar covers experiential learning activities such as arts education, physical exercises, yoga, etc. This calendar contains class-wise and subject-wise activities in tabular forms; and includes activities related to four languages as subject areas, i.e., hindi, english, urdu and sanskrit. He added that this calendar also gives space to the strategies of reducing stress and anxiety among teachers, students and parents. Calendar includes 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 contexualise 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 the TV channel Swayam Prabha (Kishore munch – available through Free DTH channel 128, Dish TV Channel # 950, SunDirect #793, Jio TV, Tatasky #756, Airtel Channel #440, Videocon Channel # 477), Kishore Manch App (can be downloaded from play store) and YouTube live (NCERT Official Channel). From Monday to Saturday, these sessions are telecast daily for primary classes from 10.30 am to 12.30 pm, upper primary classes from 12 to 1.30 pm, secondary classes from 9 to 10.30 am, and higher secondary stage from 2.30 to 4 pm. In addition to interacting with the viewer, hands on activities along with 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.
Alternative Academic Calendar for primary stage (Classes I to V), upper primary stage (Classes VI to VIII) and higher secondary stage (Classes IX and X) has already been released by the government in April 2020.