The Department of School Education of Andhra Pradesh has undertaken several initiatives to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 on school education, with the objective of providing access to good quality educational content for students from the comfort of their homes. Schools have been closed since long due to Covid-19, hence, it has become necessary that children should be provided the opportunity to read, write and learn, while staying in their homes.
Keeping in view teachers’ capacity for quality transactions in class rooms, online platforms, online YouTube channel, online training through different platforms were planned and implemented effectively.
The initiatives are as follows
Vidyamrutham is a video lessons programme broadcasted through Doordarshan for class X Students, with the objective of providing subject related knowledge to students and recapping of the concepts in all subjects. This Programme was scheduled from April 8th 2020 to May 30th 2020.
VidyaKalasham is a radio programme broadcasted through All India Radio for class X Students with the objective of providing subject related knowledge to students and recapping the important concepts in all subjects. This programme was scheduled from 22nd April 2020 to 30th May 2020 in 7 FM Stations of All India Radio across the State.
A YouTube channel was created and all the webinar videos and E-content were categorized and uploaded for students and teachers. All live videos are streamed with OBS software.
SCERT Andhra Pradesh came up with the novel idea of providing an interactive forum for nationwide experts with teachers, through Webinars, on many interesting topics like search engines, CC-Rules (Creative Commons), image and video repositories, image editing softwares like Photoshop, FOSS (Free and open source soft-ware) tools, Video making techniques. These were viewed daily by 50,000 tech-savvy teachers who also gave feedback on the same page.
By combining the webinars and Abhyasa APP, online training is given to teachers in areas such as - new curriculum, pedagogy techniques, spoken English etc. Daily one lakh teachers are watching the webinars, and interacting through chat boxes. The same video is made available in Abhyasa App and also in YouTube. Daily assessments are given in Abhyasa APP, and monitoring is being done with the help of dashboards available in the APP.
The School Education Department created clickable PDFs, where if student clicks on any topic, related e-Content will open instantly on the mobile or tab etc. As a result of that, the daily usage of DIKSHA platform increased from average of 2500 to 100000. Students including private students are using this service.
Vidya Varadhi is a program designed for primary classes (1st to 5th) consisting of two levels – 1 & 2. This is a bridge course to improve fundamental literacy and numeracy. For this course material is specially designed and distributed to the students. A T.V program through Doordarshan is broadcasted for the students to guide them on foundational literacy/numeracy related to bridge course. Class 6-7 and class 8-9 students are given three months of orientation lessons with introductory concepts through T.V lessons. Total 3 hours of live classes are delivered through Doordarshan.
The School Education Department developed a toll-free call centre (with number - 1800 123 123 124). Any student from any corner of Andhra Pradesh can call on this toll free number; IVRS will lead the student to the required teacher. Students can ask queries on any subject related matter and get clarifications from an expert teacher. This tele-education centre works for the duration of school timings. For this initiative, 200 teachers were pooled and trained on addressing the doubts of the students. A clickable PDF is also created and sent across to teachers and students wherein, a student can click on the number in the pdf and it will directly make a free call to the teacher i.e. student need not to type the full number to call.
Further, 2543 WhatsApp groups were created at District, Sub District, Mandal and school level comprising Teachers and Students of class X for Sending important model practice question papers to students synchronizing with the programmes on TV and Radio. The previous day the question paper is sent in the WhatsApp Group and next day the resource person discusses the same in Doordarshan vidyamrutham programme. After seeing video lessons students are posting their doubts in the WhatsApp groups from their homes and teachers are clarifying the doubts. This is very useful for students, as technology enables interactive lessons and feedback.