Wednesday, Jan 13, 2021 07:45 [IST]

Last Update: Wednesday, Jan 13, 2021 02:10 [IST]

A safety net

The Ministry of Education has announced guidelines for the admission, identification, and continued education of the migrant children in order to lessen the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on out of school children.
As the pandemic impacted the school's learning and education, it was felt required for every State and UT to come up with a proper strategy for a loss of learning, lower enrolments, increased dropouts, and deterioration in the gains. For ensuring that the school-going children have the access to education and learning and for minimizing the impact of a pandemic on it, the Ministry of Education issued detailed guidelines on the measures to be taken by UTs and States during the school closure and when the school will re-open.
 There are guidelines for the admission, identification, and continued education of the migrant children in order to lessen the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on out of school children.
Main Features of Guidelines are continued education for Out of School Children and those with special needs; There should be a continuation of non-residential training for the identified Out of School Children with the help of local teachers, volunteers, and community participation and there should be a continuation of home-based training and education for Children with Special Needs through special educators/volunteers. identification must be carried out by States and UTs of Out of School Children for 6 to 18 years of age through a comprehensive door to door survey. There should also be an action plan for their enrolment, among others.
The Union Education Ministry’s directive to the States should end the anxiety of millions of students about their academic prospects. Managing schooling during COVID-19 has been a challenge, with UNESCO estimating that at the end of 2020, about 320 million students were locked out of schools globally. South and West Asia are among the regions where students are at highest risk of not returning to schools and tertiary institutions, along with sub-Saharan Africa. Assessing the problem is key to planning for 2021. The Indian school education system remains top-down in making policy, which may not advance educational reform, but the vast administrative resources can be used to quickly assess the pandemic’s impact on students, teachers and schools. The pandemic year has thus far witnessed apprehensive governments keeping the majority of school instruction online, and treading carefully when it comes to reopening campuses.
If the Indian education system has to transit to online learning without creating a digital divide, the Centre and state governments must raise the spending on education to at least 6 per cent of GDP. At present, central and state allocations to the sector is less than 3 per cent. Ironically, the education ministry's budget for digital e-learning was slashed to Rs 469 crore in 2020-21-the year Covid struck-from Rs 604 crore the previous year.
The economic factors have, over the past dozen months, been exacerbated by COVID-19, while the digital divide witnessed in online education became an unprecedented cause of deprivation. Moreover, vaccination cannot cover the bulk of the population quickly, and education can possibly achieve a semblance of normality only well into the next academic year. This is the time to create a safety net for education, letting no student fall through.

Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi