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BUILDING BACK BETTER BY SHIELDING THE PRESENT

School has been the nurturing ground for students. A place where they inculcate and imbibe the ways of life,
learn to fit into the structure, collaborate and discuss, apply the problem- solving skills and knit them together
to solve the global and local problems.


Amidst the ongoing Covid 19 crisis and several other challenges, there has been a shift in the “teaching-
learning” process. Students, teachers and parents have seen the hardest of times. The clinging of school bells,
the roaming around the corridors, the playing together and learning in collaboration, all of it has either come
to a halt or we can say disguised its form.

Reports like ASER (Annual Status of Education Report) 2021 and pondering in the minds of all the
stakeholders of the education system is alarming, so to say. When smiles of children are shut behind the shield
of masks; when offline classes go online; when sharing is not synonymous to caring, when face-to-face surveys
turn to the phone-based surveys, what do one do!


We can build back better by shielding the present. Our government has been doing efforts in order to
maintain the continuity of learning. Several efforts have been taken in this regard. Knowing the fact that
discontinuities & disruptions make families (especially families from rural areas) curtail or postpone
expenditures, so direct cash transfers from schools to families have increased in this trying time of pandemic.
Smart phones have been doubled to ensure continuity in learning (the percentage increase has been from
27.9% to 56.4% to 63.7% as of 2021 as per ASER report 2021, “teaching at the right level” approach is being
implemented. Children are being equipped with the 21 st century skills as per NEP 2020 like critical thinking,
developing problem-solving skills, boosting technical knowledge etc.


Age-grade linear curriculum earlier also had left many children behind, inhibiting their potentialities. So,
the need of the hour is finding out probable solution to effective, hassle free teaching & learning. With
improved connectivity, having device libraries at the school/village level may be one effective solution.

Only then we will be able to sail together and shield our present and build ways to regain the trust of
parents and engage our children in ensuring their uninterrupted learning, the learning that is more wordly-
wise.

-Kumari Nidhi Singh

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