India’s fifth-largest state, Gujarat, is home to Pancholi Hans, a student who is academically at a critical milestone of his tenth grade. In an online weekly assessment, Pancholi celebrates as he has ranked among the top-performers evaluating the impact of another week’s engaging online classes.
Millions of students in public schools, like Pancholi, especially from the group of socio-economically disadvantaged, who are confined to the four walls of their home due to the consequences of the COVID-19, are gaining from the government’s paradigm and practical emergency response.
In the continuing effects of the pandemic, there is a risk that it is leaving a scarring impact on educational sectors which is already undergoing a learning crisis, while at the same time it is paralyzing operations and shaking up the world’s general systems. Yet, amidst all these stories of success and progress is offering hope for a better tomorrow.
Home for 11.48 million students with 0.4 million teachers and 54,000 schools, Gujarat is using this crisis as leverage to accelerate information. The Education Department of Gujarat has incorporated many policies and merged them into an integrated COVID-19 response strategy, assisting comprehensive action that ensures continued learning.
An all-inclusive learning program:
The state instantly developed an all-inclusive Home Learning Program, when the country witnessed a spike in the coronavirus cases which further led to school closures. For the first quarter of the academic year (June to September 2020) the state re-calibrated the entire syllabus.
Breaking the syllabus down into chapters and subject-focused weekly schedules for grades 1st to 12th. Teachers and other experts collaborated in order to develop a qualitative learning material which includes presentations and online sessions focusing on key points and summarizing the chapters.
With such materialistic planning in place, the next step was the make sure it reached every student. The learning levels of the students are always measured in Gujarat. The state has introduced a system that conducts formative weekly tests known as Periodic Assessment tests (PAT). During the pandemic, PAT is being used to circulate the material in order to personalize distance education to each student according to their learning levels.
Distant education for all:
Contents on themes including therapy, activities of daily living, numeracy, and literacy are being circulated through different mediums. The online class portals have settings to support the inclusive learning of students. Educators make sure about this by regularly contacting through calls for targeted support and also conduct home visits.
Teachers and the education community are facing significant challenges with this sudden shift to distant education. The comprehensive response over education by Gujarat has been successful due to the well thought out and reorganized framework, with restructured activities for the students from the state. Having developed suitable content circulated through multiple mediums which are customized according to the students’ needs Gujarat is making sure that this is aiding to realize education’s promise by acting on the evidence and bringing in celebrity faces towards the importance of learning.
Gujarat wants to improve the teaching and learning process, a preparation for the new normal for when the schools reopen. The development of learning enhancement programs to ease the dual learning loss of children who are behind grade-level and even those whose education has been affected due to the pandemic. This project, amplified by the World Bank’s support under the Gujarat Outcomes for Accelerated Learning (GOAL), will ensure building systemic resilience which will deliver long-term quality education to the children