Issues SOPs for holding community classes by volunteer teachers, parents
Srinagar, July 27: The government on Monday said community schooling was the only alternative to handhold the students lacking the online facility with the vigorous support of local volunteer community teachers.
In this regard, the government issued the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for conducting community classes by volunteer teachers and parents in Jammu and Kashmir.
The government in a circular, a copy of which lies with the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), reads that in view of COVID-19 pandemic and restriction on opening of schools due to lockdown, it has come to fore that teachers and parents are organizing community classes on voluntarily basis.
The circular stated that in the backdrop of Coronavirus, to explore the possibility to reach out to children with no access to online teaching and learning due to digital divide, lack of mobile connectivity and non-availability of smart phones, a series of consultations were held with all stakeholders.
“It was observed that community classes was the only option to handhold such children with active support of local communities without compromising prescribed anti COVID-19 SOP’s notified by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the government from time to time,” it reads.
The government also said that the community classes are being arranged by volunteer teachers with active support of willing parents and local community in feasible areas except in red zones (containment Zones)
SOPs for holding community classes
The government directed the volunteers that the community classes should be held under overall supervision of Directors of School Education of Jammu and Kashmir, Deputy Commissioners, Chief Educational Officers (CEO’), Zonal Education Officers (ZEO’s) and school heads.
It was also mentioned that the community classes should preferably be held for children not connected through online classes ownership of the initiative should be vested in local committees consisting of local teachers, parents.
“Community classes should invariably be held in open areas and grounds’ where students can sit at-least two meters apart from each other. In case of non-availability of such space, staggered schedules, shift timings and student rotation should be followed as an option,” the government ordered.
It was also stated that the students and teachers should invariably wear masks and no one should be allowed to attend classes without masks.
“All students and Teachers should invariably wear masks and no one should be allowed to attend classes without masks. Hand washing facility shall be made available for all students and teachers,” it reads.
In a circular the authorities said the community classes should be conducted within the notified syllabus prescribed by JKBOSE or CBSE for all students
“Volunteer teachers should draw a proper time table every week in consultation with the local community and the duration of each class should not exceed 40 minutes. Local community voluntary tutors may include qualified local youth or retired teachers, government employees to share their social responsibilities,” the newly SOP’s read.
The volunteers were directed to keep students reminding of COVID-19 related precautions frequently during classes, teachers should keep organizing COVID-19 precaution related quiz, debates and essay or a drawing competitions to create awareness among the students and the community at large
“Staff, teachers and students who are at high risk due to age or underlying medical conditions should continue with online education from home and should not be associated with community schooling,” it reads.
The government further said that the community volunteer teachers should seek help if any students or a staff get unwell. Student and teacher health should be closely monitored and regular contact kept with local health authorities for any emergency assistance.
“Sick students, staff should be isolated without creating stigma. Access to community classes should be restricted to only volunteer teachers and students,” it reads—(KNO)