Guwahati: The Sikkim Government has opted for homeschooling for elementary school children due to the ongoing COVIC-19 outbreak, it was informed on Wednesday. Now, the students from Kindergarten to class 8 in the state will be taught through homeschooling for the foreseeable future.
Bhim Thatal, Director (elementary education) said that homeschooling for the elementary school children will continue even if the schools are reopened in the coming months, as there are no plans to return these children back to their schools.
Revealing the state Government's approach towards homeschooling, Thatal stated that in Sikkim, homeschooling would mean that "if the child is not able to come to school, let the school go to the child." As per the Government's vision, the elementary teachers will visit the homes of such students and teach the students.
Parents, teachers, School Management Committee members and other stakeholders must come together and support the teaching of the students.
Medium and resources like digital media, online classes, voluntary support from the youths and D.EI.Ed /B.Ed students and various other means are required to be harnessed. Child centric learning and change of method to adapt to the needs of the students is required. Parenting component is also an important factor of home-schooling.
Meanwhile, Sikkim chief minister Prem Singh Golay announced that all funds from the North East Council to Sikkim will be devoted towards strengthening of state's education sector.
On July 14, 2020, the Education Department has given the following guidelines for home-schooling during the lockdown period:
Classes KG through 8 will be availed homeschooling as per the provisions of the Right of the Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009.
There will be three levels of approach for home-schooling (i) for KG (ii) for Classes 1 to 5 and (iii) for 6 to 8, with different strategies for each category.
Surveying and mapping physical locations of students and teachers will be done by the Block and Cluster Resource Centre Coordinators (BRCCs & CRCCs) to locate students and teachers along with any other individual (D El Ed, BEd, college students, educated youths) willing and capable to cater to the educational needs of our students. Heads of Institutions should formulate strategies and map challenges. The HoIs will monitor, help and support the teachers in making learning happen effectively.
Teachers will have the liberty to adopt innovative and possible mediums of teaching and as far as practicable, personal attention will be provided to the primary learners. However, for the students of Classes 6 to 8, a combination of digital learning and personal attention will be adopted.
Pre-Primary Teachers, Primary Teachers, Graduate Teachers, BRCCs, CRCCs will be engaged for this purpose at different levels. Active participation of the stakeholder's School Management Committee members, Public Representatives, parents, elder students, educated youths, D.El.Ed students in the locality will be there in home-schooling.
Methods like meeting at suitable places other than school, visiting homes of students or calling the students to the homes of teachers with abundant precaution against viral infection, maintaining social distancing and other COVID-19 protocol would be adopted.
Curriculum slash and prioritization of learning at different levels will be analysed by the teachers. Essentially, important contents as expected for a child at a given grade would be incorporated in the remaining part of the academic curriculum in line with the revised NCERT calendar and with the support of the SCERT. Teachers of government schools will also extend support to students of private schools.