KSSP for phased resumption of traditional schooling

‘Online mode of education has widened social-emotional deficit among students’

The Kerala Sasthra Sahithya Parishad (KSSP) has recommended phased resumption of offline classes in tune with improvement in the pandemic situation in the State. It is based on the finding that online mode of education seems to have widened the social-emotional deficit among students.

Many students are yet to get access to digital sessions after education shifted to online mode last year. Those who had joined Standard 1 last year are yet to see their teachers or classmates in the physical mode. The situation was similar for students who had joined new schools in Standards 5, 8, and 11. The trend will affect teacher-student relationship and impact the social-mental development of students, according to the recommendations submitted by the Parishad to the government.

“Nearly 33% of students could not watch digital sessions properly in the previous academic year, according to a study report published by the KSSP in October. The situation seems not to have improved, and it will exacerbate the digital divide among students. Our assessment had shown lack of confidence among students who did not have access to Internet, smart phones, and external support,” said Radhan K., general secretary, KSSP.

“The government can start preparations ahead of the phased resumption of offline sessions as and when the pandemic situation improves. Each class can be divided into separate batches, and only limited number of students need to participate in the traditional face-to-face mode. The total duration of daily sessions could be two to three hours. A shift-based approach based on the pandemic situation in each panchayat will be ideal,” he said.

The Parishad urged the government to fill the posts of teachers remaining vacant in schools to enhance the quality of the ongoing online education. The teaching process in the previous year was hit by non-availability of teachers. “The authorities should ensure that all schools have headmasters / principals,” it said.

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