The Odisha Primary Education Programme Authority (OPEPA) has implemented a first of its kind remedial class programme ‘Sahaja’ for the benefit of slow learners of primary schools across the State.
In a bid to ascertain basic learning capabilities of the primary school students, OPEPA undertook a base line test in 900 schools in 30 districts in June.
The three elements - reading, writing and numeracy - were instrumental in deciding the basic competency level of the children. The purpose of the survey was to identify the magnitude of slow learners in the schools and assign remedial classes accordingly.
As per the survey, Nabrangpur ranked the lowest in the students’ learning competency.
Other low performing districts are Nuapada, Kalahandi, Balangir, Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar.
The students of these districts did not fare well in language reading and writing. The language competency in Nabrangpur was only 26.2 per cent.
On an average, only 36.71 per cent of Class II students across the State could write a letter with a particular Odia grammar.
A senior OPEPA official said since the local dialect in the lower performing districts is influenced by the neighbouring States, students are struggling to get a hold of Odia.
On an average, the overall performance in language was less than 50 per cent in five districts. The students of the coastal districts performed better in language competency.
On an average, only 51.80 per cent students of Class II across the State could write two digit numbers.
The lowest performing districts in mathematics competency were Nabrangpur and Sonepur.
The mathematic competency level of students studying in Class IV was 39.5 per cent and 40.05 per cent in the two districts respectively.
The remedial classes were eventually taken up in more than 53,000 Government schools.
The teachers of all the schools were asked to conduct special remedial classes for the slow learners identified from the survey. The two-month programme was started in July and will conclude this month.
A total of eight unit tests have been scheduled for the two months, one in each week.
A report based on the remedial classes will be finalised by OPEPA in September. The final report will give a better picture of the students’ learning competency across the State.
As per the initial feedbacks received from different districts, OPEPA officials said the students are responding well to the remedial classes.
A senior OPEPA official said a special follow up plan will be devised for the students whose learning competency does not improve even after the remedial classes.