Ministry of Education, home-based learning, Ramesh Pokhriyal
The Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Education today released the Guidelines for Parent Participation in Home-based Learning during school closure and beyond.
Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ in his tweet said that in this ‘new normal’ of the pandemic, considering parents’ role as pivotal to children’s growth and learning, these Guidelines aim to provide information on the ‘why’, ‘what’, and ‘how-to’ of participation and engagement in supporting children during the school closure, irrespective of their literacy levels. Home is the first school, and parents are the first teachers, he added.
The guidelines on home-based learning emphasize the need for parents to create a safe and engaging environment and a positive learning environment, have realistic expectations from the child, take care of health and eat healthy, while at the same time having fun with children. These guidelines are meant not only for parents but also for caregivers, other family members, grandparents, community members, older siblings who all are engaged in promoting the welfare of children.
The guidelines provide many simple tips for parents and others to facilitate children in Home-based learning. These suggestive activities are in accordance with the various stages of school education as per NEP 2020. Age-appropriate art activities have been categorized on basis of 5+3+3+4 system viz Foundation Stage (Age 3-8yrs); Preparatory Stage (Age 8-11 yrs); Middle Stage (Age 11-14yrs); and Secondary Stage: From Adolescent to Adult age (Age 14-18 years). The activities are simple and suggestive, which can be adapted and adopted to local needs and contexts. The Guidelines appreciate the role of art as a therapy for children under stress or trauma.
The Guidelines lay significance on improving children’s learning by monitoring and addressing their learning gaps. Collaboration of parents with teachers in documenting and reflecting on the progress that children are making in their learning is important for both teachers and parents.
The Guidelines also advise the schools to involve parents by providing information and ideas on helping students at home with homework and other curriculum-related activities, decisions, and planning, and involving them in school decisions. Resources like sending Newsletters, emails, memos, etc. may be provided to parents.
Resources have been made available for Children with special needs which may be explored by the parents. They can approach teachers for guidance in this regard. There are other agencies, and organizations that provide facilitates Information about such avenues that could be sought from SMCs/Gram Panchayat, school administrators etc.
A separate chapter has been included in the Guidelines for supporting parents with low/no literacy. Schools, teachers and volunteers may take suggestive steps to provide support to low-literacy parents.