A session for staff on the Pragyata Document
-Ms. Barkha Shah

On the 31st of July, a meeting was attended by all the teachers via Google meet in their respective sections to better understand the Pragyata document and implement it.

At the start of the meet, the staff was into prayer, seeking God’s blessings to guide the teachers in the online teaching and assessment and also to be with the people affected by Covid by granting them speedy recovery.

The Pragyata document is given by MHRD-released towards the end of July 2020-for guidelines to be followed for online teaching during the lockdown period. The resource persons for these sessions were our own staff representatives-AHM, Head teacher, Supervisors and a few other staff who after having reviewed it prepared the power point presentations for these sessions.

The first section of the Pragyata document deals with the understanding of online teaching which has 2 aspects viz. Concept and Mode of online teaching. The concept is concerned with teaching learning process in the use of digital media. There are six categories providing detailed explanation of the modes-various devices and the network available to the students. The institutions decide the mode based on the kind of students and the background they come from.

The Pragyata gets its name from the eight steps to digital learning namely plan, review, arrange, guide, yak (talk), assign,tracking and appreciate. As an institution we face two challenges at DB Matunga:
1-Unavailability of the devices to all; however we do hope to address this problem in the near future with past pupils and parents coming forward to sponsor devices to the needy children.
2-Follow up of the students having connectivity problem.

Section three of Pragyata gives the guidelines for school teachers, heads, students and students with special needs. Here we discussed the Need assessment, planning and implementation of various guidelines. The resource person mentioned about reframing the teaching methods considering the well being of the child, availability of the devices, textbooks etc. We need to take adequate measures to facilitate ICT, systematic time table, synchronous and asynchronous learning, screen time, measures to be taken for cyber safety and also teachers’ preparation and his/her professional development. We have to work towards creating a conducive environment for children with special needs and treat them on par with their peers.

Next was the topic of guidelines on physical health and mental wellness. Due to the change in working conditions and the learning happening in different setup, the teachers and students should emphasize more on correct posture while sitting, proper light and ventilation, doing yoga exercises that helps to deal with stress and anxiety in the difficult times. The resource person gave the teachers 20-8-2 rule which means 20 minutes of sitting, 8 minutes standing and two minutes of walk which will help the teachers and students during online classes. Mental wellness requires that the teachers are vigilant and pick up unusual behaviour of the kids and connect them to the counsellor.

The assessment pattern which is an integral part of the teaching-learning process came up next for presentation. Assessment gives us the tools to evaluate learning outcomes. The different assessment tools included use of Google forms, question banks and oral questions. For poor children in remote areas, the use of buddy system, QR codes sharing of E-content can be beneficial.

In the last section, we have the national initiatives taken up by the government for online and digital learning. The Vidya Yojana program started by the PM on 17th May 2020 speaks about one nation and one digital platform. There are the six platforms viz. Diksha app, use of television, radio, swayam channel, YouTube content and web series to cater to the children in remote areas and prepare them for competitive exams.

We were given an insight on mental health which was communicated effectively to us with a personal touch. We have to make peace with the new normal by communicating, connecting and being compassionate. If the mental health is put in place we can tackle anything. Seeking help and taking care of the self is very important to adjust with the changed situation.

We concluded the session with heartfelt gratitude to all the staff who presented the Pragyata document effectively with the use of PowerPoint presentations leaving us all enriched for a better online teaching strategy and planning.

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