Offline classes, Hybrid mode

On mission back to classroom, Odisha asks districts to plan own strategies

India News

With a recent analysis of the state government revealing that about 30 per cent of students have not returned to schools, the Odisha School and Mass Education (SME) department has directed collectors to devise location-specific strategies to bring students back to classrooms.

Offline classroom teaching in schools across the state resumed this February after a gap of two years due to the pandemic.

Analysis of daily attendance data from schools, as provided by the District Education Officers (DEOs), shows that around 70 per cent students are attending classes, School and Mass Education Department Principal Secretary Bishnupada Sethi stated in a letter to the district officers.

On districts with attendance below the state average, Sethi wrote, “The figures lead us to believe that thorough analysis has to be made to know the whereabouts of absentee students. It may so happen, these students who are not attending offline classes might have dropped out/moved out along with their parents (or) lost interest in academic activities due to non-continuance of the teaching schedule due to the pandemic situation and many other reasons, which need analysis.”

A review by the department also found that students clearing class VIII were dropping out of school and not taking admissions in class IX.

To address the issue, the state government has asked all district collectors to devise a location-specific strategy for the district concerned to bring back children to schools. The collectors have also been asked to conduct a school-level survey to list students not attending classes.

“Junior teachers posted in schools may be sent to houses of absentee students to know the reason for their absence from school,” Sethi wrote. “These junior teachers should also motivate students and their parents to send their ward to school and explain the benefit (of schooling) and steps taken by the government to provide free books, free uniform, MDM (midday meals) and scholarships to students.”

Panchayat members and women’s self-help groups can also be roped in for the exercise, Sethi suggested.

As a Learning Recovery Plan (LRP) is under implementation by the government to help recover the students from the learning loss, maximum attendance of students should be ensured, he mentioned.

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