Kerala issues out-of-the-box guidelines ahead of school reopening. Here's what they are

The state’s Education Department recommends that teachers visit the homes of their students to build better relationships with parents

As the country's education system grapples with the question of how to fill in the learning gap in children caused by prolonged lockdowns — Kerala may have just found a way out of the mess. Creating opportunities for students to engage in their favourite activities, allowing them to read their favourite books, getting them to practice light exercises, identifying their talents and encouraging them; these are just some of the recommendations put forth by Kerala’s general Education Department to plug the learning gaps in students ahead of reopening of schools in the state on November 1.

The state government’s academic guidelines, released this week, are aimed at making it easier for students to get back on track for regular in-person classes after the disruption caused by the pandemic. The Indian Express reported that in the first phase, schools are advised to make use of video classes and take the help of technology while teaching students in the classroom.

All students must be brought into the atmosphere of schools as a way of bridging the learning gap and must be allowed to engage in their favourite activities, the guidelines say. The guidelines recommend teachers to be focused on practical lessons, library sessions and group activities. Students who are unable to reach schools in the initial period must be allowed to continue their studies online and guidelines mandate arrangements for the same.

The academic schedule for the month of November is recommended to be prepared in advance before the reopening of schools — on the basis of the implementation of November’s schedule — the same can be prepared for December. Schools are free to choose the schedule of daily classes based on safety protocols and the number of students in each class. There is no uniform model in the state.

The Education Department advises teachers to build good, healthy relationships with students and thereby promote and encourage their talents. This, the department believes, will boost their self-confidence and make it easier for them to concentrate on their studies. Giving feedback on their assignments is also encouraged.

Involving the students’ parents or guardians in their studies is recommended through basic projects. It has also suggested visiting homes of students to build strong connections with such parents for long-term results. On the day of reopening, the department recommends that schools and classrooms be decorated, students be welcomed personally by teachers and encouraged to play games, sing songs and tell stories as a way of easing them back into the academic schedule. The Education Department had earlier put out general guidelines on safety protocols to be followed as schools reopen next month.

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