Online class (Representational Image) | Wikipedia
Online class (Representational Image) | Wikipedia
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New Delhi: The Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD), which launched an ‘alternative academic calendars’ for classes 1-10, is planning to bring in a similar calendar for classes 11 and 12, as well as extend the tenure of all these calendars from the current four weeks to three months.

The calendars are to be followed by students, teachers and parents to ensure students can continue their education despite the lockdown, which has been in place since 25 March.

A source at the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) told ThePrint that the HRD ministry is planning to bring in the alternative calendar for higher secondary students “soon”. The source added that with the lockdown being extended to 17 May, the tenure of these calendars will also be increased.

“Earlier, the duration was of four weeks; now, it can be for three months,” the source said. The government notification for these calendars had already mentioned that their tenure can be extended.

The source also said the lockdown has “generated a lot of stress in the minds of students”, for which the NCERT has added ‘Adolescent Stress Management’ in the upcoming higher secondary calendar. This will help “students on the verge of adulthood in dealing with mental stress”, the source said.

Also read: Students retain more in online classrooms, shows data

What are alternative academic calendars?

The idea behind the calendars is to use the internet to continue to provide education.

The calendars have been prepared by the NCERT in consultation with state school education boards, Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan, Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti and other stakeholders, with the help of the online communication platforms such as WhatsApp, Google Meet and Zoom etc.

The calendars for classes 1 to 10 have been released at different times, the latest being on 2 May when Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ launched the one for secondary school students.

The previous calendars have made special arrangements for the union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and other parts of the country where high-speed internet is not available. In such places, teachers have been asked to give consultation over the phone or SMS. Other places are expected to use WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Telegram, Gmail, Google Meet, etc.

Students are also being provided with audiobooks and radio programmes. Art and yoga have also been included in the calendars, and study material is available on epathshala, NROER, and DIKSHA portals.

The NCERT has also started live sessions for students and parents on Swayam Prabha.

Also read: ‘Our kids will be left behind’ — parents in UP’s Hardoi say no smartphone means no e-classes


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