Lockdown lessons: Students don teachers’ role for classmates in Telangana

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At a time when there are no clear-cut guidelines on conducting online classes in Telangana, students of the state social and tribal welfare residential educational institutions have turned teachers for their classmates.

According to RS Praveen Kumar, secretary, Telangana Social Welfare Residential Educational Institutions Society (TSWREIS) and Telangana Tribal Welfare Residential Educational Institutions Society (TTWREIS), the initiative-Village Learning Circles- is being implemented to promote continuity of studies while schools remain closed due to COVID-19 induced lockdown without any certainty over start of the academic year.

He said though the idea is meant for students of TSWREIS and TTWREIS, children of other schools are also participating in the VLC.

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“The VLCs are being operated from homes, panchayat offices, churches, schools, religious places and other makeshift learning centres in villages. Students with good communication and teaching skills take up the role of teachers and impart learning to their younger schoolmates and peers in his or her village,” Praveen Kumar told P T I.

“All the students are asked to use hand sanitizer, wear face masks and maintain a physical distance of minimum six feet among themselves,” the official was quick to add.

Under each VLC, 5-10 students will be taken while pupils from classes six to Degree level with good communication and teaching skills who have competency in a particular subject, are entrusted with teaching responsibilities, he said.

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The timetable will be prepared in such a way that there will be 2-3 hours of teaching schedule per day.

Teachers will regularly guide and mentor ‘student teachers’ in pedagogical methods to be followed considering different categories of pupil and their learning abilities.

“As of now, as many as 8,000 VLCs under TSWREIS with 40,000 students and about 2000 VLCs for TTWREIS with 16,000 students have been formed. The target is to form 50,000 VLCs for both the societies,” an official involved in the initiative said.

Teachers of both the societies will periodically monitor the activities of the assigned VLCs besides providing video-based learning material to the centres, Praveen Kumar said.

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The VLC concept will also help ensure that students are engaged in academic activities who otherwise will be compelled to take up labour activities in some villages and tribal areas, according to social activists.

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