At a time, when the whole world is fighting the Pandemic caused by Coronavirus, some are trying to find out new ways to lead a progressive life. In Tripura ‘Neighbourhood Classes’ has become one such initiative which are gaining popularity day by day for its unique way of imparting education to the students, in the remote areas of the state.
Neighbourhood classes means open air classes consisting of a teacher and maximum five students, where the students are taking lessons from the teacher. This model is organised in such a way, that will promote joyful learning, helping the students to cope up with the lessons plans as well as the uncertainty of the ongoing situation.
The neighbourhood classes in the state was introduced on 20th August 2020. On the first day itself 1,15,188 students and 16,111 teachers participated and according to the latest record on 25th August 2020, 1,33,975 students and 20245 teachers participated in the open air classes in 31607 groups and the number is increasing day by day. At present the model is followed in the government and government aided schools. Students in this set up are not forced to come to the classes.
Speaking to News Sense, the state Education Minister Shri Ratanlal Nath said, “Our first priority is to reach out to the students, who do not have phone, internet or access to latest technology. Our second most priority is to reach out to the students of Class X and Class XII. Teachers are instructed to carry Sanitizer, Mask and Teaching Learning Materials with them.“
He also added, “the first 10 minutes at the onset of the class, the teacher will educate the students about the importance of maintaining hygiene, how to use sanitiser, how to wear mask, maintaining social distance“.
Apart from this, the Education Ministry has reduced the syllabus for the students of Class-III to Class VIII, for Social Studies, Bengali and English by 50% and Environmental Studies, Science and Mathematics by 40%. For the students of Class IX to XII, NCERT has already reduced 30% syllabus.
In case of emergency such as excessive heat or rainfall, the classes can be suspended. To gather feedback about the initiative, Education Ministry has also started taking opinions from Teachers and Guardians via polls.
Earlier, the Ministry has started video lectures on local TV channels for the students who do not have access to smartphones. But a survey conducted by the Education Department among 3,22,297 students from all the eight districts of Tripura revealed that around 94,000 students could not attend online classes, because they do not have access to smartphone and nearly 1.42 lakh students does not have a television set in their homes. After several experiments, the government finally gave go ahead to this unique of model of education.
Apart from Tripura, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Sikkim, Chattishgarh, Maharashtra and Karnataka has also initiated such innovative model of imparting education to the students.