Delhi announces learning with ‘human feel’ to bridge ‘digital divide’ during Covid crisis
Delhi government has announced a one month programme to reach out to government school students to ensure their learning doesn’t suffer due to limitations of online learning using digital tools.
Delhi government on Thursday announced a plan to bridge the possible “digital divide” resulting from the continuation of online classes after the summer vacation in state-run schools due to restrictions imposed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic outbreak.
The plan stresses on “learning with human feel” through teachers’ interaction with individual students, both with and without the facility to attend online classes.
A broad outline of the concept was announced by deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, who said the new programme was an attempt to minimise the loss to education and the experience of classroom learning, tough to replicate in an online learning environment.
Watch | ‘Learning with a human feel’: Manish Sisodia’s plan to bridge digital divide
“We are stressing on learning with human feel, as simply conducting online classes doesn’t constitute proper learning. Our attempt is to retain the human feel which generally goes missing in online classes,” Sisodia said.
He added that the biggest fear with online classes related to a possible digital divide between the haves and the have nots—those with means to attend digital classes and those without it—which could lead to a learning divide, creating a social and learning gap, which will be hard to bridge.
While Delhi schools have been ordered to remain shut till July 31, the education through implementation of this scheme will from July 3 onwards, said Sisodia.
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The new programme focuses on reaching out to students without digital facilities and also on connecting with every student on an individual level even while conducting online classes.
“It is imperative for every teacher to connect with every student,” said Sisodia and added that online classes often follow a detached routine of delivering lectures to a mass of students and just playing audio video modules were taking away from the experience of learning.
“The experience of going to the school, peer learning, practical classes, visiting the library, learning together and the one to one connect with the teacher can not be substituted through digital learning,” he added elaborating on the need for the new programme that aims to address some of these issues.
According to the broad outlines provided by the deputy CM. Teachers of classes between KG and standard VIII will stay connected with students and assign work on WhatsApp groups and individually interact with every individual.
He added that according to the assessment done by the Delhi government, around 20% students may not have WhatsApp facility and parents of such children will be contacted by teachers for sharing teaching material and such they will also maintain a connection with the children over the phone.