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News letter

Monthly Newsletter | July 2020 | Volume 14


Dear Reader, 

I am glad to present before you the July 2020 edition of our school 360 Newsletter. 

The news, as was the case in the previous publication, is predominated by the ones centered on the corona virus epidemic and its ripple effects that are being seen in the school education sector.  

Besides the important news articles, we also have for you an exclusive interview of the Mr. Ganesh, Director, Chrysalis, the leading curriculum solution provider of the country. In the brief interview, he elaborates on how Chrysalis, as an organization, helping schools to educate children at home. 

The news items, in this edition, include the dilemma boards are facing in deciding whether to conduct the remaining 10th and 12th examinations, the parents’ and teachers’ opposition to the news of upcoming ban on online classes in certain states, protest against school fee hike, learning-outcome centered curriculum preparation roadmap by NCERT and the situation in Delhi concerning the re-opening of schools. 

I hope you will find the news articles and the interview section informative and I will look forward to your feedback.   

 

Keep yourself Safe and Healthy Dear Reader, 

I am glad to present before you the July 2020 edition of our school 360 Newsletter. 

The news, as was the case in the previous publication, is predominated by the ones centered on the corona virus epidemic and its ripple effects that are being seen in the school education sector.  

Besides the important news articles, we also have for you an exclusive interview of the Mr. Ganesh, Director, Chrysalis, the leading curriculum solution provider of the country. In the brief interview, he elaborates on how Chrysalis, as an organization, helping schools to educate children at home. 

The news items, in this edition, include the dilemma boards are facing in deciding whether to conduct the remaining 10th and 12th examinations, the parents’ and teachers’ opposition to the news of upcoming ban on online classes in certain states, protest against school fee hike, learning-outcome centered curriculum preparation roadmap by NCERT and the situation in Delhi concerning the re-opening of schools. 

I hope you will find the news articles and the interview section informative and I will look forward to your feedback.   

 

Keep yourself Safe and Healthy 



To Take, or not to Take the pending exams – the dilemma before class 10 and 12 CISCE students, Bombay HC also intervenes

The class 10 and 12 students of the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) has been left with two option concerning assessment. The choice is that the student can either take the pending papers or consent to be assessed based on the pre-boards and internal assessments. 

As far as students of Bangalore are concerned there are takers on both sides.

The school management of several schools said that there is a substantial number of students who would like to sit in their pending exams. 

It has been reported by the media sources that the Principals of schools feel that the lockdown has given their students a lot of time to prepare and they are confident about performing much better than they did in their pre-boards, given a chance.

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Mumbai sees protests against school fee hike, ban on online classes

Mumbai saw a spate of protests by parent groups on the issues of fee hike by a prominent school chain-- with six schools in Mumbai alone-- and the ban on online classes for primary and preschool children.

Parents have resorted to “protesting online”.

There are many instances in which the parents protested like Vibgyor International where parents protested over the online platform Zoom in connection with the school’s refusal to roll-back the hike in the fees.

There have been other modes of protests like the letter signing campaigns. It has been reported that around 400 parents of the students of Vibgyor International have become signatories to the letter, sent to the management which demands the hike in the fees to be rolled- back. 

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Delhi Schools not to open until after July, Virtual Classes shall continue, micro-plans for reopening in the offing

As Delhi witnesses a worrying escalation of the Covid-19 situation, reports are streaming in that schools might not open even in July.

In all likelihood, the virtual classes are going to keep the children and the teachers busy once the summer break ends.

Virtual Teaching-Learning has found new dimensions since the lockdown was first announced in March. There are growing concerns among the observers that the digital divide that exists in India will exacerbate the logistical and operational difficulties of conducting schools online.

Around mid-June, all principals of Delhi schools were asked to come up with a “micro-plan” for reopening the schools by Education Minister Manish Sisodia. He explained the need 

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Parents in Bangalore to set off an avalanche on twitter with 40,000 pro-online classes tweets

A total of 40,000 tweets were sent out by the parents and teachers to influence the decision of the state in favor of online classes. This unique band of Twitterati found sympathizers and supporters in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, where the ban on online classes was declared by the state governments

 In the first leg of the initiative on June 14th, parents from Bangalore sent out a 7000 tweets. The initial success propelled the parents and this twitter movement crossed state lines and the second leg of the movement began in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.

 The states have imposed the ban on virtual classes in different degrees. While M.P. has banned online classes for the primary and pre-primary classes, Maharashtra has restricted live online classes up to 2nd standard. The permission for prerecorded videos still hangs in the balance.

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CISCE asked to clarify its position on holding remaining exams by Bombay HC

Expressing concern over the safety of the students, the Bombay HC has demanded an expression of the state’s “clear” position concerning the holding of the ISC and ICSE pending exams. 

The court also asked the government if it is basing its position on how the situation unfolds—‘wait and watch’ approach.

The decision of the Home Ministry concerning the plea before the Allahabad High Court seeking the cancellation of exams rescheduled to be held in July, was also enquired about by the court.

It was announced by the board in May that it will conduct the pending exams from July 1st.

 The board’s position was the same for both classes 10 and 12—examinations for both in July.  

In another unprecedented declaration, on 15th June, the board had told the HC that the students will be given a choice

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Learning outcome-centered MHRD’s Road Map for the new academic session 2020-21 released for NCERT

NCERT has been given a  learning outcome oriented road map for the next academic year by the MHRD.

The curriculum design, as per the directions of the ministry, has to be completed by the NCERT by October 2020 for classes 1 to 5 while the training of teachers for classes 6 to 12 has to be completed by June 2021.

 The School Education and Literacy Department of MHRD stated the aim of the redesigned road map is to achieve the motive of ‘Atma-nirbhar’ or ‘self-reliant’ India. 

The development of the resources will be essential to effectively implement the road map and to get the desired levels of learning outcomes. 

 "We will have to change the format and system of education in the coming times so that we can take education to every corner of the country. NCERT will complete this work through the roadmap being released today. We sincerely hope that in the way we have changed the Corona crisis period as an opportunity, in the same way, ...

Mr. Ganesh.
Director, Chrysalis

Q. How is Chrysalis helping the schools in adopting to the scenario created in the wake of Covid-19?


A. Chrysalis has always, in the 19 years of its existence in the education sector, responded to a situation rather than reacting to it. To help schools adapt to the scenario created by the Pandemic, we have launched our initiative called “Chrysalis Home”, which is based on the concept of creating the closest replica of an actual physical classroom on a virtual platform. It is helpful for the students and teachers equally and it involves the parents in the virtual schooling of the children. 

Chrysalis has evolved ways for it to be possible to have exchanges between the teachers and students on the virtual platform. There are lectures, live webinars and videos which are communicative are not one way downloading of information. Assignments can be uploaded, so can their responses, which are in some instances voice or pictorial responses. The teachers’ feedback is shared regularly on the platform enabling parents to monitor the performance and participation of their child in the class. Parents’ feedback is also invited vis-à-vis the progress children are making. 

We are regularly developing ways to enable the virtual classrooms feel and function like a “real-time classroom.” 80 percent of the Chrysalis-based schools have introduced our programmes fully and we are working our way up to reach a 100 percent mark.  

Q. How compatible has Chrysalis as a curriculum solution been with the entire virtual learning scenario?


A. Chrysalis is wholesome in its approach, it is not exclusively looking at it from the perspective of preventing the academic loss, that is foreseeable in case the lockdown of schools continues, but we are also concerned about the emotional and social wellbeing of children. 

We have emphasized the connect that needs to be maintained with the children in their formative years and we are trying to maximize that connect through our virtual platforms also. 

There was a “Home Engagement Plan” that was immediately launched after the lockdown was announced. It included things like age-appropriate worksheets for children informing them interactively about various subjects including the pandemic itself. For that we also launched “Coronapedia” that aimed to satisfy the children’s curiosity on the subject in a child-friendly manner. 

We are finding that children are responding quite well to the virtual learning platforms and are engaged actively in learning in the period which, under normal circumstances, would have been their vacations. 

We have ensured that children keep gaining academically by exploring various avenues on the virtual platforms and coming out with compatible solutions.  

Q. How are trainings and orientations for teachers being conducted by Chrysalis?

A. Online professional development programme for teachers is going on as well as the orientations and guidance for the virtual platforms are going on regularly, and we have  been able to keep up to the speed with which the things have escalated.

We have seen the growing trend of social media usage in the period and we have provided for solutions that provide maximum engagement for the children without distracting them. We have tried to prepare the teachers for that. And like I said earlier, emotional and social well –being of the child is also an aspect on which the teachers are oriented. 

The virtual classes has an special element of individuality to it, now the child is not seen as the member of a particular standard or class but seen as an individual learner. We have to prepare our teachers to respond that level of individualized teaching-learning.

Q. How are trainings and orientations for teachers being conducted by Chrysalis?


A. Online professional development programme for teachers is going on as well as the orientations and guidance for the virtual platforms are going on regularly, and we have  been able to keep up to the speed with which the things have escalated.

We have seen the growing trend of social media usage in the period and we have provided for solutions that provide maximum engagement for the children without distracting them. We have tried to prepare the teachers for that. And like I said earlier, emotional and social well –being of the child is also an aspect on which the teachers are oriented. 

The virtual classes has an special element of individuality to it, now the child is not seen as the member of a particular standard or class but seen as an individual learner. We have to prepare our teachers to respond that level of individualized teaching-learning.   

Q.  How do you see the advent of virtual learning effecting the gap between private and government schools?


A. I believe, if we are talking in terms of advantages and disadvantages, then the categorization should be as premium schools, budget schools and government schools. I think the schools with resources definitely have an advantage over the schools that run on marginal resources. 

The government is capable of taking steps in this direction. We have heard that certain state governments are planning to start a TV channel for school children, and that they are launching digital applications for the children to learn. Although, I am not sure how effective a one way TV channel or online material can help, as the element of interactivity is lost if we solely depend on these resources. 

I think, the schools that can prepare themselves best for the virtual education fast and explore possibilities will give the best learning outcomes.