We conducted meetings with the government school teachers across the Asoha and Kapseti clusters in Chitrakoot district, and the Bambaura and Badrauli clusters in Bahraich district, in rural Uttar Pradesh. The initial set of meetings were focused on providing program updates during the lockdown period and the next set on the theme-based structure of the remote learning worksheets as part of the COVID program - 'Ghar Pe Seekho Sikhao', and how to integrate a child-centric learning methodology irrespective of being virtual. In total 150 teachers have attended in all the meetings in the 4 clusters
Collective meeting 1:
This was the first meeting that was held virtually with the teachers after a gap of more than 6 months. It was held in September. The efforts of the teachers and Prajayatna to continue the engagement of children in learning were shared by all which gave an update on what had happened during the lockdown to date. The teachers shared what they had done and the challenges faced by them in reaching the children, the digital divide that existed in the villages, and the problems ensuing from that. Prajayatna shared the work done around the concepts and worksheets both online and offline. The results of the assessment that was done with the children after two months of the initiative along with the feedback taken from the parents on the initiative were shared with the teachers. It was decided that the teachers who were now coming to school on a regular basis would create worksheets and try to reach the children through the parents.
Collective meeting 2 :
The second round collective teachers meeting of the four clusters started with an activity to reflect on how children learn, and how the environment shapes their experiences. This discussion set the meeting off really well, as all the teachers had now started thinking about the child-focused approach at Prajayatna.
The teachers then went through a round of discussions on the benefits of a theme-based approach for the remote learning worksheets. To help create a structured progression with remote learning, it was imperative that the concept was chosen for the first theme be something that is simple to understand, prevalent in their daily lives, and be engaging.
The first concept was – ‘Me and My body’ and the connected learning outcomes were accordingly decided for the whole month for all children studying in grades 1 to 5.
The meeting was concluded with a brief speech by the Block Education Officer(BEO) who requested all the teachers to actively participate in these meetings, treat them as learning opportunities and give their valuable inputs in designing experiential learning experiences even through remote learning.
Meeting with Inclusive Education Resource Teachers
An online district level meeting was held with the Resource Teachers who worked with the children with disabilities in both the districts of Bahraich and Chitrakoot. 40 of them participated along with the District Coordinator from the Department of Education. The main issues discussed were:
- Challenges and issues being faced by the children with disabilities and its exacerbation during the lockdown.
- Lack of any kind of stimulation or learning engagement due to the lockdown. The lack of social interaction was the main fallout for the children who were not mobile on their own.
- Due to the economic pressure in households, many of the children with disabilities were being neglected.
- Support required by parents for the management of the children
- Discussion and designing of learning materials for the engagement of the children
It was decided that information with activities and exercises, designed by the IERTs along with Prajayatna, to help the children with disabilities would be given to all the children in the districts regularly in order to not deprive the children of the much-needed stimulation.