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Open Air Schooling: A Panacea

Post by on Tuesday, July 6, 2021

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Outbreak of covid-19 has almost affected every sphere of life and has exposed the fragility of administrative setup in the world which has created a sense of helplessness, despair and other devastating impacts. Education sector is the worst hit amid covid-19 pandemic resulting of about 830 million learners out of school. 
In this situation a ray of hope in the form of community schooling, now Open Air Schooling concept has been introduced to mitigate the academic loss of the students. In whole of the country particularly in Jammu and Kashmir this type of schooling is much prevalent since last two years.
Community schooling though is different in meaning to different societies provides solace to the lower income sections and other downtrodden who cannot afford E-learning gadgets due to digital divide. Open Air Schooling however is not substitute to conventional schooling but substantially a powerful mechanism to sustain educational dynamics by involving teachers, volunteers, and academicians etc to keep the flame lightening. 
Community schooling encourage community and students to participate in academics and non academic activities in a rejuvenating way within local communities to fulfill the dents created by educational gaps. It develops different skills and amplifies awareness essential for learning and planning of students. It widens the outlook of students by exploring resources available locally. 
Community classes are the best approach to tackle the menace of school dropouts. Experts are of the view that by adopting community classes in their local setting, students show much response in teaching learning process and learning outcomes. It is in fact three tier system teacher, community and student which make it holistic. 
Teachers play a pivotal role in shaping and guiding the career of students by inculcating desirable values among them.  Seasonal teachers, RETs etc is not exception who put their blood and sweat on  meager salaries to impart this schooling even to nomadic and tribal students on upper reaches. It takes hours to walk through dense forests to reach their students. Such nomadic and other downtrodden communities are greatly sensitized who otherwise show little inclination towards conventional schooling. 
Thus there is a need of pre-active and collective approach by every section of society to safeguard the interests of students at gross root level by actively following the necessary guidelines and WHO Norms to satisfy the educational needs catering the attention of students. It would also be decisive to augment the basic infrastructure level especially to seasonal Bahak schools and other far flung institutions to see the fruits and that is what community schools demand in present scenario.      
(Author is Teacher and Resource Person, Education zone Tangmarg, Baramulla. He can be mailed at Hussain.hassan95@gmail.com)

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