Rs 200 crore project soon to address learning losses of kids during pandemic: TN minister
Making a statement in this regard, the minister said schools have been closed in Tamil Nadu for the past one-and-a-half years and there have been shortcomings in imparting lessons to the children
CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu Finance Minister Palanivel Thiaga Rajan on Thursday announced in the state Assembly that a massive mission mode project would be launched soon to address the learning losses caused by the COVID pandemic and subsequent lockdowns as children from government schools have not had the opportunity to undergo formal schooling for the past 18 months.
He said the School Education Department would implement this programme during the next six months. For the current financial year, Rs 200 crore has been allocated for this purpose.
Making a statement in this regard, the minister said schools have been closed in Tamil Nadu for the past one-and-a-half years and there have been shortcomings in imparting lessons to the children. Though the state government has been making efforts to impart lessons through Kalvi TV and through online classes, the educational needs of children living in remote villages could not be fulfilled.
The minister also recalled that in the revised budget for 2021-22, it was announced that a comprehensive plan for remedial education, both within and outside the school hours and school premises would be launched.
Educationists have been advising the government to ponder over the depression faced by the children due to these reasons. After considering these views, the government has decided to implement a massive movement which would take teaching and learning to the doorsteps of the children living even in the remotest villages. “With the help of teachers, graduate students, NGOs and others and with the guidance of the educationists, this programme will be implemented. Initiatives like Nilavoli Palli (night schools) will be part of this scheme,” the minister added.
Meanwhile, sources said during the COVID lockdown period, efforts have been made to reach out to children by distributing QR coded textbooks, developing and disseminating audio-visual educational content on Kalvi TV, AIR as well as social medical channels like YouTube. However these efforts have not been comprehensive or all-inclusive, as many of the students attending government schools do not have the advantage of a personal mobile device or a laptop, on which they are able to access the learning content in a consistent and organised manner.
Sources also said over 65 percent of students remain outside the ambit of the above learning interventions and almost all students have not had the benefit of a structured online classroom transaction process, in the manner that private school students have had and thus the mission mode programme has been devised.