Translate worksheets before sending them to students, DoE tells Urdu medium schools
The Directorate of Education (DoE) Thursday directed all Urdu medium government schools in the national capital to translate online study material or worksheets provided by the education department into the language before sending them to students, in order to ensure uninterrupted learning amid Covid-enforced restrictions.
A senior official at the directorate, requesting anonymity, confirmed that they issued the order after taking cognisance of a Hindustan Times report, dated September 29, that said students and teachers of least 20 Urdu medium government schools in Delhi were struggling without online study material or worksheets in the language.
Officials at these schools, however, expressed reservations over DoE’s directions and said they do not have sufficient number of teachers, who are well acquainted with the language, to translate the material.
In an order issued to all Urdu medium schools on Thursday, the DoE said, “The heads of schools (HoS) of all Urdu medium schools are directed to instruct teachers of their schools to translate the worksheets/activity sheets provided centrally and ensure that the same is sent to the students to facilitate the learning of students. It is reiterated that the teachers should be directed to send worksheets day-wise to students on WhatsApp groups.”
With schools shut since March and classes being held online, government schools -- where most students do not have access to smart devices and the internet -- are dependent on worksheets or study material provided by DoE for virtual learning. These worksheets contain both notes and questions. Students can either access them on their class WhatsApp groups, or parents can pick up hard copies from schools.
DoE has been providing worksheets every day on all subjects -- in both Hindi and English -- to all schools. However, there are no worksheets in Urdu.
A teacher at an Urdu medium school in Old Delhi said of the 46 teachers in their school, only 20 can read and write the language. “Many of our subject teachers can’t read or write Urdu. They are verbally acquainted with the language. Translation work can only be done by teachers well versed in the language. Now DoE sends two worksheets for each class daily. How will it be possible to translate everything and send it to students the same day?” he said.
Teachers of his school have already been translating parts of the worksheets and sending them to students. However, they are unable to send them the same day.
An official at another Urdu medium school in the Walled City said they have only three teachers well-versed in the language at present. “We are short of hands. It would have been better if the DoE could send us worksheets in Urdu itself, as they doing for Hindi and English medium schools,” he said.
An official from the education department, requesting anonymity, said, “The schools can assign the duty of translation to some teachers. Schools that have only a few teachers who know the language well may seek the help of other schools. The translated worksheets may also be shared among schools.”
The Delhi government did not respond to requests for a comment.