When the first set of COVID-19 cases came out, as precautionary measures schools were the first to be closed across the country and rightly so. This has, however, meant that children’s learning outcomes would be affected, which they have been. Many private schools i.e., high income and middle-income private schools across the country have been using online learning using zoom conferencing or google hangouts to conduct classes. This has been possible primarily due to the fact that parents are able to make provision for laptops/iPads/tablets for children to be able to attend the online classes. This goes without saying that these are parents who are able to afford these gadgets for their children.
Elsewhere low-income schools have been instructing parents to make children write notes etc., for the upcoming school year. They send messages to parents on their mobile phones every day and request them to make children read a few paragraphs from each lesson each day and make notes. None of these above methodologies has been very foolproof however it’s the desire of every teacher and school that at the very least children don’t come back to schools whenever they begin with a huge slide.
Padho Punjab Padhao Punjab
The Department of school education, Punjab was also extremely worried for thousands of government school children under their care and supervision. It has decided not to leave any stone unturned to ensure that children do not lose out during the lockdown and crisis due to COVID-19. It is noteworthy that the Punjab education department has a flourishing Edusat program from 2018 onwards. They have been putting up the curriculum and lessons actively on the platform since 2018. Punjab government has a ‘Punjab Padhao, Padhao Punjab’ program through which they plan to do capacity building for over 2 lakh teachers across the state to affect the learning outcomes of lakhs of students in Punjab. Assisting them in this effort are the collective of four NGOs, Mantra4Change & Sanjhi Sikhiya, ShikshaLokam, Samarthya.