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Dimapur, EM Exclusive

Schools in Nagaland stepping up to help students make up lost ground

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By Purnungba Longkumer Updated: Feb 18, 2022 1:15 am
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Purnungba Longkumer
Dimapur, Feb. 17 (EMN): With schools being allowed to resume in-person classes, students have finally returned to classrooms but that may not be enough to make up for the learning loss incurred over the past two years. To make up the lost ground, many educational institutions in Nagaland are adopting innovative methodologies and providing intensive support to the students and teachers.   

Chairman of Livingstone Foundation International Dimapur, Andrew Ahoto Sema told Eastern Mirror that most children have lost substantial instructional time and may not be ready for curriculum that were age-and-grade-appropriate, prior to the pandemic.

Students will require remedial instruction to get back on track, he said, adding that their school has prepared an action-plan that will support the design and implementation of large-scale remedial learning at different levels of education.

In order to help lower kindergarten and nursery students cope with the transition to in-person teaching, Sema said the classroom required thoughtful planning to ensure that they feel comfortable after being separated from their families and learning in new and unfamiliar context.

‘When transitioning from remote to in-person learning, it’s crucial that children and families know what to expect,’ he said.

‘The teachers connect with each family via an email or phone and address any concerns about Covid-related protocols and work to understand the safety measures being taken by the school.

Additionally, we ask families how to best keep in contact moving forward, particularly in case of an emergency. The classrooms are made as comfortable and enticing as possible by filling it with materials that reflect children’s interests or favourite things from home to  ensure that there is a shared comfort zone they can go to if needed,’ he added.

Sema went on to say that it is difficult to read and express emotions when wearing a mask, and to compensate for it, they have prepared to teach social and emotional learning skills more explicitly than ever before, rather than wait for emotional moments to come up organically.

Meanwhile, at Hope Academy Dimapur, review classes will be taken in the first month of the session and implement large-scale remedial learning at different levels of education, said its Principal Sashizungla Ao.

‘There will be reduced syllabus for present classes with the important topics/chapters only and if time permits, touch the other topics/chapters of any particular subject,’ Ao said, adding that teachers will work on the basic understanding of all the subjects first, and then deal with the complex ones.

In order to catch up with the learning loss, Principal of Christian Higher Secondary School (CHSS), S Moatemsu Walling said they were able to create a virtual classroom where students could have the same learning experience.

‘In fact, their psychological health to deal with such an approach was always considered. On the other hand, online teaching also gave the students new avenues to explore and learn through their own independent approaches, made them more tech-savvy as well as added different features to their mode of learning,’ he said.

Walling informed that teachers of the lower class students (class A-2), being the most affected group, would approach them first with remedial lessons, counselling, one-on-one sittings, etc. The initial months would be spent on mitigating their tasks and on blending in with the school environment, he added.

Principal of United Christian Higher Secondary School Diphupar, Dr. Saza Lucy shared that to help the students get back to school mode, proper routine has to be followed, while the teachers have to be more creative in the classroom teaching.

‘In order to adapt to the transition from online to in-person teaching, the teachers have to be more efficient, use more teaching aids/teaching tools in order to capture the attention and interest of the students,’ she added.

Taking a step further, Principal of Greenwood School, Nilie Kath Rengma said that the teachers of the institution will do some revisions of previous years’ courses in order to help the students catch up fast.

Bridging learning disparities

Principal of Pranab Vidyapith Higher Secondary School, Manoj Bhattacharjee said that in order to balance the disparities of education across different demographic groups and communities, the school is developing an online mode of education so that they can provide online as well as on-campus education.

He said that will be a great challenge for teachers as well as students to bridge the gap created by the teaching-learning system in the past two years.

Walling shared that CHSS caters to students from all sections and economic strata of society, and during the online mode of learning, they ensured that not a single student was left out or suffered due to lack of access to modes of teaching adopted by the school.

‘Most of the students were promoted to a higher class through online mode (exam) and the opportunity to test them in an offline mode of exam (2021 final exams) had shown that majority had performed to their required potential and those who missed out in the first attempt were also given a re-teach and retest and did get through,’ he added.

Dr. Saza Lucy said exams were conducted via online during the pandemic and most of the students were promoted according to the marks obtained in the online exams. She, however, said it would affect both the students and teachers, especially in the pre-primary and the lower classes.

Hope Academy principal said that there was no issue of disparity in access to quality education in online learning except ‘network problem’. She informed that the CBSE has instructed the schools to reduce the syllabus for each class.

‘Moreover, online classes were taken live for better learning outcomes. Regular assignments and assessments were taken through online mode so most of their students were promoted to the next class based on their ability and merit,’ she added.

6146
By Purnungba Longkumer Updated: Feb 18, 2022 1:15:26 am