Pandemic adversely affected mother-tongue-based of tribal children: 48% of school children below the expected standard in English in Odisha

© Provided by The Statesman Pandemic adversely affected mother-tongue-based of tribal children: 48% of school children below the expected standard in English in Odisha

The pandemic health crisis has brought in its wake a complete disorder in mother tongue-based learning process for the tribal children in Odisha, according to findings of ‘The Paused Classroom’, a report on understanding the educational situation in pre-school and elementary education during COVID-19 in Odisha by ‘Save the Children’.

The state is implementing a mother tongue-based learning process for tribal children up to grade V. Twenty-two among 63 tribal community children of the State are learning the curriculum through their mother tongue and state language Odia and English are subsequently added as second subjects for them, it said.

“It is a matter of regret that there is no thinking; no plan by the State for these children that how the children will get their education in their mother tongue through online mode during this pandemic. Even no tribal student of primary grades is currently receiving learning materials in their mother tongue”, the report pointed out.

As the regular classroom teaching, curriculum learning has been broken due to school closure, will have a long-term impact on these students and that may lead to dropout. It is certain that these school closures will adversely affect the learning achievement not only of these tribal children but also all these across the state and country, it maintained.

The study report found a disturbing trend in the ongoing online learning initiative launched by the government in the trying times of pandemic.

It said the performance of 48% of students studying in Class VIII, in the English language test was below the ‘expected standard’.

Besides 45% of students studying in class VII are below par in Mathematics while 21% of students studying in class VII were found performing below the desired level in Odia.

“In Mathematics, the percentage was 45%. There was a little relief in the case of Odia that 21% performed below the expected standard. But several children failed to meet the class-appropriate learning standards, despite it being their mother tongue”.

The learning level of class V students of the state is also equally niggling. As many as 59% of the students in class V failed to meet the required learning level in English; 53% in Mathematics and 31% in Odia language.

Similarly, 43.42% and 26.54% of children in class III needed a remedial class to attain the class-appropriate learning level in Mathematics and Odia respectively, it concluded.

It seems that the pandemic will stay with us for some more time. The state government should take steps to implement preparedness and readiness classes for children. It will not only make the learning process live but also increase the learning level and check the dropouts.

Furthermore, most children enrolled in Anganwadi centre have forgotten what they learned and skills they acquired dur9ng the closure due to the pandemic, it added.

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