The state Government of Madhya Pradesh is swiftly responding to the COVID crisis by introducing a series of interventions across all sectors, as the socio- economic profile of students studying in state run Government schools and their limited access to other resources of learning beyond school, prolonged periods of lockdowns and an interrupted academic session will severely affect the learning outcomes of children. The situtation presents the unprecedented challenge of keeping students meaningfully engaged in academic learning, while continuing to develop teacher capacity & proficiency, without running regular school operations. The crisis has also brought within its wake an opportunity for extensive use of IT- based platforms especially in education sector for teachers, parents and above all students. After a long lockdown the department will have to address these challenges. These include –infrastructure and facilities, teaching-learning environment, school’s routine activities, teacher training, organisation of co-curricular activities and personal hygiene.
During the lockdown in wake of COVID 19, the School Education Department of Madhya Pradesh has proactively taken upon the task of ensuring that children do not lose out on any opportunity to learn and to continue their academic progress by providing access to tech-enabled learning sources. It has been envisaged to integrate digital learning with classroom teaching in the post- Covid by introducing well planned interventions addressing critical elements of the learning ecosystem: students, parents and teachers.
Digital Learning for Students
Radio School is a state-wide radio program launched in collaboration with All India Radio (AIR) on April 1 broadcasted from all stations across the state. Key highlights of the programme are as follows:
The program saw enthusiastic participation from the students and the teachers alike, with some communities even trying innovative practices like using a loudspeaker to ensure that no student in the community is left behind!
Launched on 8th April, 2020 DigiLEP provides learning opportunities over WhatsApp. There are three main elements of DigiLEP:
Additionally, to ensure that students are getting continuous support from teachers, teachers have been playing a pivotal role in DigiLEP as well. On the top of it, we are also sharing fun stories every Sunday through Digital Flipbooks.
Curation of high quality digital content
An inter-state team of 50+ members, comprising SCERTs of MP, Jharkhand and Orissa, multiple non-profit organizations across the country, and content experts from civil society organizations came together to curate NCERT curriculum based competency videos for all Classes from I to XII. All key subjects in elementary grades, and many subjects of secondary grades were covered. The team has already curated content for more than two months, and is well on its way to create a freely available well curated resource of videos which could be used by anyone for classroom + at home learning, The library now has more than 250 videos across 5 subjects in elementary grades.
Well defined state wide network of WhatsApp Groups
More than 19 lakh parents and 2 lakh teachers have now been added on a well-defined architecture of 50,000+ WhatsApp groups across the state. Every cluster has eight groups to cover parents of students in elementary grades, and at least groups for every secondary school, one group for each class. Additionally, district level WhatsApp groups, called DigiLEP groups, have also been made where all cluster academic coordinators and all Principals are added.
Well-structured delivery mechanism
To ensure that the appropriate curated content is reaching every single one of 50,000+ WhatsApp groups across the state and maximum number of children are taking the benefit of it. SOPs were made to clearly define responsibilities and put in place required monitoring mechanisms, and continuous data based insights were shared at all levels. The result is that in the past four weeks, daily viewership of our content has increased from 2.5 lakh per day to around 7 lakh per day.
Constant support by teachers
Every teacher of the state has been directed to connect with at least 5 students daily, and provide support so that every single kid remains in touch with her studies. Teachers are now calling parents, orienting them on DigiLEP initiatives, and are motivating them to play an active role in their children’s studies. They are also giving homeworks and assignments to students so that they keep practicing what they are learning from various sources. Teachers are also reporting the details of the calls done and homework/assignment given through Google forms, the format of which is given below.
We have been seeing a host of bottom up innovative practices which teachers, parents and community members are taking. For example, some teachers have started ‘Mohalla Classes’ – classes in which 5-6 students in a neighborhood study together using one Radio/Mobile device, under the inspection of an elderly who prods them to learn, solves their queries about the content, and acts as a bridge between children and teachers, if teachers are themselves unable to reach the kids in person. Another example is teachers going door to door to ensure that no student is left behind, and everyone is connected with learning in one form or the other.
To orient teachers on their responsibilities, and to explain to them the importance of Digital Education, we have also conducted multiple, large scale webinars, in which more than 15,000 teachers across the state have directly participated and interacted with state leadership. We are also planning to use social media further by conducting FB live events starting next week.
Weekly Flipbooks on Sundays
Flipbooks are digital versions of hardcopy books which could be read similar to physical books, that is, by just flipping pages. Every Sunday, interesting story books, in the form of flipbooks, are made available to students so that they have multiple and different types of sources to remain connected with studies.
To inspire students, parents and other family members of the students to write about their experiences of lockdown and connect with the larger school education community, various competitions were also conducted by the department.
Additionally, a ‘Learn from home’
Additionally, a ‘Learn from home’ repository has been uploaded on the home page of Vimarsh portal; it outlines specific initiatives that the state is driving for digital learning and provides a rich collection of open learning resources for interested students.
Top Parent is a first-of-its-kind free-of-cost mobile app that empowers parents of young children (3-8 years) with knowledge and strategies around child development to help them meaningfully engage with their children.
Top Parent builds parents’ skills as educators by providing simple day to day solutions via videos and games and recommending easy and cost-free digital solutions for their children’s learning needs. With fun, game-based and world-class. EdTech solutions, children can now continue to learn their letters and numbers without the fear of missing out on school.
It was launched on 1st May, 2020 for professional development of teachers. Key highlights are as follows:
Online State Textbooks and Videos are available in this section. This program is for class 3 to class 8 and covers Hindi, English, Maths, Science, Social Science, Computers and Sanskrit subjects. It can be reached via GYAN PITARA
Knowledge Hub for Electronic Learning (KHEL):
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