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54 lakh classes conducted by DSEJ in 85 days amid coronavirus

As uncertainty looms over the future of several sectors due to pandemic, the education sector had to adapt as fast as they could. The coronavirus pandemic reached every State and Union Territory in less than 6 months. The government announced the first nationwide lockdown on March 25 after WHO declared a coronavirus outbreak as a health emergency.

To cater thousands of students, Directorate of School Education, Jammu issued notifications on March 27 and April 4 regarding Home Assignments for which nodal officers were nominated for each district. The regular timetables were tweaked, and six-eight lectures were brought down to 2-3 only. The teachers also plunged into online teaching amid lockdown with less or no preparation. The WhatsApp group was started in which educators uploaded video lectures voluntarily which were also shared on YouTube. The topics chosen for making video lectures strictly followed the DSEJ Academic calendar of July 2019 issued by State Institute of Education. Another step was taken in the form of E-register for digital attendance.

Around 3,82,417 and 6,31,078 students, 40, 798 and 47,902 teachers and 10,149 and 12,323 schools are connected to DSEJ through online and offline modes, respectively.

But several students residing in remote areas could not access the internet so the department came up with another idea to handover printed notes to the Students. Teachers living nearby Schools volunteered and distributed hand-written or printed notes to their Students. Also, classes were conducted through Public Address Systems by religious places. DSEJ also started Weekly programmes in April and has completed 16 programmes till date wherein the focus was on fun-based activities mentioned in weekly programmes mostly related to physical fitness, academics, mental health issues etc. Recently important days like Yoga Day, Environment day, Earth day, Raksha Bandhan were celebrated by the Students. The motive was to involve learners and engage them to stay connected with educators. These Weekly programmes helped students immensely to deal with coronavirus and Saturdays were specifically kept for counselling activities.


DSEJ also introduced students to various initiatives taken by HRD Ministry like SWAYAM (study webs of active learning for young aspiring minds PRABHA, a group of 32 DTH channels devoted to telecasting of high-quality educational programmes on 24X7 basis, PM eVidya programme and ePathshala etc. in July.

Teachers also faced tough times in coronavirus but their commitment towards imparting knowledge greatly helped Students in areas like Dudu, Basantgarh, Poonch etc. There are several zones in different districts which are still not connected like one zone in Kishtwar district has only 18 Higher secondary schools connected to classes out of 22. In April, SEI assigned duty to DITES for preparing at least two chapters of each subject to upload on the website and distribute in print.

Also, teachers voluntarily conducted classes in open areas with proper social distancing, masks etc. as per WHO guidelines. The SOP came on July 27 but the initiative was taken long before that. The radio classes were also started by DSEJ with a proper schedule.

The department has conducted 54,90,092 online classes in the last 85 days with around 70,189 classes being conducted daily.

Talking to Jammu Links News, Anuradha Gupta, Director School Education Jammu, said that online and distance education goes hand in hand so different means were used to reach out to the Students who could not access online lectures. She added that two major things were focussed upon-Mentoring and Community Schools following which the government issued detailed SOPs regarding these initiatives so DSEJ followed both to help students in coronavirus.

Dr. Surinder Kumar, Nodal Officer, DSEJ Home Assignments said that teachers are the main drivers of all campaigns run by DSEJ because their dedication helped the department to implement all plans. He also thanked DSEJ for providing full freedom to them for planning, preparing, and executing tasks.

The Students of government schools in Jammu and Kashmir were able to study at home during lockdown with the start of tele classes and e-learning initiatives implemented by DSEJ with utmost dedication.

 

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Author

Hardeep Bali