FDE issues guidelines to mitigate students loss during pandemic

ISLAMABAD, Mar 03 (APP): Under the directions of Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training, Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) has made remedial strategies for the implementation of a program to support schools and students to overcome academic losses incurred during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

According to a notification, Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) has directed all schools and colleges in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) to counter the impact of COVID-19 on academic progress of children in schools “Supporting Students to overcome academic losses.

FDE has directed the ICT educational institutions to devise a two stage approach – A short term approach to support children appearing for exams, especially board exams in August 2021. And a long term approach for the next two-three years to help children overcome the learning losses accrued due to shortened academic preparation in schools, the notification available with APP mentioned.

As the loss may continue to impact children’s learning in the next grades, so as per short term approach for Academic year 2020-2021, the schools are directed to identify at-risk children through classroom observation and assessment, especially in subjects that require a conceptual continuity. They should identify a zero period in the morning or after school ends” to support the cohort of students that need extra support.

Alternatively school can also identify a time slot on Sunday for students with severe learning losses. The schools with computer labs should use the free learning material available through digital portals to assist children’s learning in case there is teacher shortage for remedial classes. FDE also directed to sort students into learning level groups-for example students struggling with basics of a concept of language or mathematics can be in one group regardless of grade level.

As per Long-Term approach of FDE for Academic years 2021, 2022 and 2023, the summer vacations are to be utilized as much as possible to support students transition to the next grades to overcome learning losses. The ICT educational institutions are asked to introduce a structured remedial and support program in the academic period of 2021-22 for students that show learning weakness.

However, a diagnostic assessment to be conducted in the first week of academic year to help teachers plan their lessons according to students learning. As per plan, a regular formative assessment program to be introduced in all schools to track and monitor learning.

Head teachers are directed to hold regular monthly meetings with subject teachers on formative assessments and progress of students. Schools can help form peer learning groups for student-student learning, it added. The notification further directed that remedial classes to continue as either zero period, during late afternoon or over weekends, while digital resources would be utilized where teachers and students need support (e-taleem portal, noon academy, sabaq.pk and other resources).

According to the notification, FDE has already taken few steps to mitigate Academic losses of the students suffered during the closure due to outbreak of COVID 19 pandemic. According to these steps, FDE has introduced reduced syllabus, keeping in view anticipated reduced working days. Working hours of institutions have also been increased from 04 hours of first phase reopening to at least 5 hours a day.

Saturday is also used as full working day to reduce academic loss at maximum for this academic session 2020-2021. Annual examinations are scheduled at the months of May-June 2021. This shall provide enough time for teachers to cover the missing concepts and areas if left to mention in reduced syllabus.

Summer vacations have also been reduced and decided to be held for only one month i.e. July 2021 which will be equivalent to 30 days in comparison of 70-80 days of summer vacations in previous years’ practices.

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