Union Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank'.. Image Source: IANS News

New Delhi, April 23 : As students stay at home away from schools owing to the nationwide lockdown, the Union Human Resource Development Ministry on Thursday launched an alternative academic calendar for upper primary stage which consists of classes 6 to 8. The calendar has been developed by NCERT under MHRD's guidance.

The calendar contains a week-wise plan consisting of interesting and challenging activities, with reference to theme or chapter taken from syllabus or textbook.

MHRD claims that the calendar would map the themes with the learning outcomes.

"The purpose of mapping of themes with learning outcomes is to facilitate teachers and parents to assess the progress in the learning of children and also to go beyond textbooks. The activities given in the calendar focus on learning outcomes and can thus be achieved through any resource including the textbooks children are using in their state or Union Territories," MHRD said in a statement.

The calendar also covers experiential learning activities such as Arts, Education, Physical Exercises, yoga, pre-vocational skills, etc.

It will have class-wise and subject-wise activities in tabular forms. It would include activities related to four languages as subject areas, that is Hindi, English, Urdu and Sanskrit along with link for Chapter wise e-content available on the e-pathshala, NROER and DIKSHA portals of government of India.

While launching the calendar, minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' said, "This Calendar provides guidelines to teachers on the use of various technological and social media tools available for imparting education in fun-filled, interesting ways, which can be used by learners, parents and teachers even while at home." "Many of us may not have internet facility in the mobile, or may not be able to use different social media tools - such as whatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Google etc, the calendar guides teachers to further guide parents and students through SMS on mobile phones or through voice call," he added.

The calendar however has been designed for four weeks only, but the ministry says it would extend it if needed.

The ministry however cleared that all the given activities are suggestive in nature, not prescriptive, nor is the sequence mandatory.

"Teachers and parents may opt to contextualise the activities and do those activities that the student shows interest in, irrespective of the sequence," ministry said.

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