Covid-19: Paediatricians’ group release guidelines on school reopening and remote learningUpdated: Oct 16, 2020, 18:42 IST
The Indian Academy of Paediatrics has listed out measures that need to be adopted by schools, governments and parents to ensure learning during and after Covid-19 pandemic.
The suggestions that are part of the 25-page guidelines on school reopening, remote learning and curriculum in and after Covid-19 pandemic include revisiting of the syllabus from the previous academic year, training youth from local communities to become facilitators and creating self-learning modules.
The association plans to distribute and disseminate the guidelines nationwide to all stakeholders. The task force assigned with this job plans to review these guidelines after a period of six months.
One of the key suggestions made in the document is to leave the decision of reopening schools with local administration.
“Looking at the diverse socio-cultural conditions and varying Covid-19 epidemiology across India, decisions about the opening of schools should be taken by the local authorities at the district level and not at the national or state level,” states the guidelines.
Similarly, the association has recommended the minimum criteria for the reopening of schools.
“Case positivity rate should be less than five (that is, less than 5% of the total Covid-19 tests performed in the district per day turn out to be positive) for the preceding two weeks. The number of new cases in the district per lakh population per day should be less than 20 in the past two weeks.”
The association has also listed out the measures to be taken now, to ensure that online learning becomes an effective mode of learning for all students. Trimming the syllabus by 50%, revising concepts that have been taught already and encouraging activity-based participatory learning are some of the suggestions made in the guidelines.
The Maharashtra government recently announced that schools in the state will physically reopen only post-Diwali break in November.
Rajesh Pandya from the Teachers’ Democratic Forum said, “Teachers and students are both exhausted with online learning over the last few months. We hope that the government understands this and works out a plan to reduce the additional stress on students and teachers. Replicating the same academic calendar as it is in physical schools is not the way out.”