CSOs praise Odisha government’s “Siksha Samparka” initiative, seek actions on remedial classes and school infrastructure

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Bhubaneswar:  Members of Civil Society groups have welcomed the Odisha government’s recent move to initiate ‘Siksha Samparka’ programme, a “chalk and talk mode of learning. They said, this will enable lakhs of rural children, who lack resources to avail online classes. However, they have sought the government’s action to improve school infrastructure and implement remedial classes which are vital to impart quality education among children.
“We thank the Odisha government for their timely action as this has come as a result of our month-long campaign titled “Hamari Maang: Achha School, Sudharatmak Shiksha. Last month, we had written a letter to Mr Naveen Pattnaik along with the Chief Ministers of all other states, urging to implement remedial classes and re-building of school infrastructure by 15th August. We are happy that the government has heard our voice as its first step. Therefore, we had more than 500 tagging Mr Pattnaik in praise of his government’s timely move”, said Mr Anjan Pradhan, Convener of Odisha Shramajeebee Mancha.
“After Chhatisgarh, Odisha is the second state in this row to have heard our demand and taken actions,” adds Mr Pradhan.
School and Mass Education Minister Mr Samir Ranjan Dash said, “to reach the left out students, who are not able to access e-learning, the department proposed that teachers will visit villages where there is a poor internet connection and teach the children at their homes”.
‘Siksha Samparka’ Initiative
Mr Dash on Saturday explained that the situation is not appropriate right now to reopen schools. There are around 60 lakh students presently enrolled in Odisha schools out of which only 22 lakh have access to online education through various means be it Siksha Sanjog, Dakhyata or Madhu App.
Under this programme, teachers can teach up to a maximum of 10 children from class-1 to class-VIII and 25 children for class-IX and X where all involved in the teaching-learning process will follow Standard Operating Protocols (SOP) of COVID19. The classes will run from Monday to Friday, and their assessments will take place every Saturday.
In addition to that, the education department will geotag photos of the classes to monitor the process. As per the announcement, the classes will be held in public spaces such as village community centres and Panchayat office where children cannot attend such courses, they will have the option of audio calls.
“The Odisha government’s move is a step forward in the effort to step in this regard is an approach to break disparity and inequality in imparting lessons online. However, we also urge the government to start remedial classes for weaker students. Also, the government should improve school infrastructure as it is also necessary for imparting quality education,” told Ruchi Kashyap, executive trustee of Atmashakti Trust, an NGO that led the mission3-5-8 campaign.

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