Assam Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Saturday announced that in a bid to tackle the challenge of the coronavirus-triggered lockdown, the Sate Education Department has taken a slew of measures to ensure that the students in the state stay engaged.
Sarma informed the media that every week, a competition is being held for the students of the state board and 10,000 prizes will be given out for excellence when the performance is assessed down the line. "We don't know how many have taken part in this (initiative), but the teachers have made effort and I have heard the response is good. After lockdown, we will take the copies and after checking the copies, we will award 10,000 students."
Meanwhile, the Government has announced a number of measures, mostly to do with technology, to keep the students engaged in the process of learning:
Gyan Brikshya, a local educational television channel, that will be free of cost, has been announced. The channel, which will be available on cable, will be used for academic as well as competitive skill development of the students.
Another measure, the Artificial Intelligent Based Personalized Adaptive Learning for students from classes 9 to 12 has also been announced, and has been envisaged to cover students of grades 9 through 12 along with subject teachers. The platform will be made available online especially for Class XII appeared students and there will be mentoring for the science steam of JEE, NEET, and State CEE through a series of assessments, mock tests, and expert sessions. This platform is also expected to help teachers gain a greater grasp of their subjects.
Samagra Shiksha in Assam will also conduct online talent search, and career guidance cum coaching and envisages to conduct online mode talent search for Class 11 and 12 students. Overall, 7 students will be chosen through online mode and another 3 students, who do not own any gadgets that could aid them in competing online, will be selected by a District Level Committee.
Additionally, a Career Guidance Portal has also been made available for students of Class IX to XII and students will be made privy to information that could help them give shape to their careers.
Assam Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma also announced that the state Government is in talks the to push the board's academic calendar to April-March. Sarma informed that a decision will be taken in this regard after receiving feedback from the parents and other stakeholders. "We have been seeking the public's feedback in regards to starting the academic year from April 1 onwards.
A portal was presented from the Board of Secondary Education (SEBA) seeking the public's advice -- whether they will support or oppose this move. Earlier, the academic session used to be held from January to December. Now, we want to conduct the session from April 1 to March 31, in tandem with the other states in the country. If this is to happen, we can make up for the losses during the lockdown", Sarma said, while addressing the media here in Guwahati city.
Sarma said that the final discussion pertaining to this issue will be taken up on May 30, further adding the decision will be taken based on the public's feedback. "The information", Sarma said, "will be conveyed in the first week of June."
The Minister also said that the free textbooks will be provided for the Higher Secondary students in their respective schools from the 27th of this month onwards. Sarma also said that the ambitious Diksha e-learning app of the Assam Government has found wide acceptance after a campaign was launched during the lockdown.
"3.5 lakh students have already downloaded the Diksha app during the period of lockdown, and they have been benefited by it, Sarma told media. He also informed that the Biswa Vidya Assam YouTube channel that facilitates learning, has been subscribed to by a large number of people (it has 10,000+ subscribers at the time of filing this report).