A worker sanitises a classroom at a college in Mumbai. (HT FILE)
A worker sanitises a classroom at a college in Mumbai. (HT FILE)

Pandemic effect: Maharashtra issues guidelines to tackle learning losses

With schools in the state remaining shut for nearly 10 months due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Maharashtra education department has issued guidelines for addressing concerns about loss of learning over these months.
By Ankita Bhatkhande
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 12:00 AM IST

With schools in the state remaining shut for nearly 10 months due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Maharashtra education department has issued guidelines for addressing concerns about loss of learning over these months.

In an eight-page document, the department has laid out guidelines for bringing drop-out students back to schools and mitigate loss of learning over the past one year. “Not all students have access to online learning, and there are many limitations in reaching out to such students despite efforts from schools. Similarly, there has been a lot of reverse migration from urban areas to villages during the pandemic. There is a concern that children who migrated in such a manner might drop out or be forced into child labour. This is a key reason why some guidelines are needed to help bring such students back to schools and train the ones who might have suffered learning losses,” states the document.

The guidelines include giving special attention to female students and children with special needs to ensure that they do not lag behind in their studies and do not drop out. Similarly, schools have been asked to conduct awareness drives among parents, assuring about the safety of the students in schools during the current situation. A list of students who have migrated is to be collated and such students should be contacted to ensure that they continue learning.

Similarly, the guidelines also have several measures to mitigate learning losses. For instance, teachers have to stress on remedial learning when physical schools reopen and should focus on ensuring that students possess basic arithmetic and language literacy. Teachers need to be trained to address challenges with respect to loss of learning, states the circular.

The education department has launched a drive to identify out-of-school students across the state from March 1. While schools in Mumbai and Thane are yet to reopen, those in other parts of the state have reopened for Classes 9 to 12 from November 23 and for Classes 5 to 8 from January 27.

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