In the wake of the ongoing nationwide lockdown, all the schools and colleges in the country have been closed since mid-March, and they are expected to reopen only after the situation normalizes. In such a situation, many parents and students were struggling with organizing their study plans to ensure that the learning process is not stopped.
In order to provide effective week-wise planning to the students for each subject, NCERT has prepared an alternative academic calendar. This calendar was released on Saturday, May 2nd, 2020, by Mr. Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, HRD Minister.
This alternative Calendar must be followed by the students, teachers, and parents during the lockdown to cover the syllabus. The major motto behind releasing this new academic calendar is to ensure that the students remain busy during the lockdown and continue the learning process. This academic calendar is designed for secondary school students, i.e., those studying in class 9th and 10th.
It covers important subjects like Science, Social Science, English, Mathematics, Hindi, Urdu, and Sanskrit. Previously, on April 16th, the HRD Minister released an academic calendar for primary school students.
The HRD Minister announced the release of the alternative academic Calendar on Twitter for the secondary school students and tweeted that, “My dear Secondary School students, I am releasing Alternative Academic Calendar today, for your benefit. During the lockdown period, you can use this calendar for week-wise planning, with reference to theme/chapter taken from syllabus or textbook. http://ncert.nic.in/aac.html.”
The HRD minister also asked the students and teachers to follow this calendar and learn at home using available alternatives like television, radio, SMS, or social media. Teachers have been encouraged to ensure timely interventions by directly contacting the students and helping them with their doubts and queries.
The guidelines specified in the academic calendar for teachers, students, and parents read that, “Schools, Colleges, and Universities have been closed. Students are confined to their homes, and so are teachers and parents. Teacher educators, teachers, and parents need to find ways to deal with this unprecedented situation arising out of the lockdown in order to engage students meaningfully through educational activities at home.
While we are putting in all efforts to flatten the epidemic curve, learning can continue at home too, and the learning curve of children must continue to move upwards. How should this be done? The first thought would perhaps be homework or home assignments.
However, the concept of homework is that of a task done individually; moreover, it carries with it the pressure of completion rather than that of joyful learning. Further, as educationists, we prefer not to recommend homework over a long duration for very young children. We have to, therefore, seek alternative methods.”