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Less social media and news, play more Snakes & Ladders: Govt’s de-stress guide for students

The HRD ministry released a list of suggestions along with the alternate academic calendar to help students cope with the Covid-19 pandemic.

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New Delhi: Don’t watch the news as much but play more Snakes and Ladders — this is the Ministry of the Human Resource Development’s (MHRD) advice for students to stay calm and less anxious during the pandemic.

Noting that too much news and excessive time spent on social media could lead to anxiety, the MHRD suggested students from Class 9 to 12 could instead video call friends and family.

The ministry Wednesday released an alternate academic calendar for Classes 11 and 12 to follow while schools remain closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Prepared by National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), the plan not only elaborated on different subjects and learning outcomes, but also suggested ways for students to cope with stress and anxiety.

“Constant monitoring of news and social media updates may lead to anxiety. To help reduce fear and anxiety, limit your media consumption to a specific time to listen to the news,” the guidelines suggest.

The same suggestions were made for Classes 9 to 10 students, whose alternate academic calendar was released last month.

Also read: Modi govt wants colleges, universities to help study AYUSH practices for Covid-19

Social media for studies

Teachers were also recommended to follow similar guidelines.

“Information received through various social media channels may make you feel overwhelmed and confused. Hence, even though staying digitally active in present times is almost a necessity, it is important to carefully choose news and media sources,” the guidelines said.

Presenting a better alternative to both students and teachers, the guidelines said students could use technology and apps like Facebook, Zoom, Skype and WhatsApp to stay connected with others.

“Call, text, or video-chat with friends and family; share quick, easy and nutritious recipes; start a virtual book or movie club; schedule a workout together over video chat,” the guidelines, curated by experts, said.

It also suggested students play board games like Snakes and Ladders.

The expert committee also suggested using the social media tools as an alternate method to teach students. It said teachers could try creative and educative ways to reach out to students through these platforms.

The ministry has so far come up with three separate alternate academic calendars — for classes 3 to 5, classes 9 to 10 and classes 11 to 12.

Also read: In India, over 32 crore students hit by Covid-19 as schools and colleges are shut: UNESCO


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