The Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha has some suggestions for the Ministry of Education as it continues to experience issues with virtual learning.
In a letter to Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, issued by its attorney Dinesh Rambally, the organization acknowledged that it cannot be business as usual during the pandemic.
At the same time however it says if one were to create a snapshot of the system of education as it is in real time, it would appear to be a chaotic one.
It identified issues such as access to devices and connectivity for some students, a scramble to create online platforms and implement measures “without any guidance from the Cabinet/Ministry”, and the challenges that now come with teaching and learning at home.
It has since listed the following recommendations:
*A needs-assessment exercise should be conducted to get a true snapshot of the difficulties on the ground for all persons in education, the new medium of education, and the technological and economic challenges that persons are facing.
*A more relevant mandate to the National Advisory Committee as provided in the Education Act.
*A better system of distributing school meals which avoids the possibility of overcrowding at collection points. We suggest a system of food cards for students to have direct access at staggered times and staggered locations, rather than depending on one third party fixed-location distribution system.
*Age-appropriate roll-out of curricula, especially to capture the needs of infants.
*Clearer policies in respect of what exactly is to be expected of the parents in online learning.
*Consultation with Principals to address the unreasonable pressure and real time demands made on them which sets the tone for the interrupted delivery of education in their schools.
*A well-thought out, legally-defensible Code of Discipline in the new E-learning environment.
*It also recommends the establishment of a Troubleshooting and Technical Support Centre to deal with issues facing teachers and students, and a Virtual Learning Environment in which libraries with textbooks can be digitally stored.