Worried about learning loss among school children, the Odisha government announced on Saturday that it will cut short the summer vacation for school students to 11 days instead of the 40 days given earlier to cover the academic loss.
The state school and mass education department said summer vacations will start from June 6 and end on June 16. With this, the summer break has now been restricted to 10 days. Odisha schools and mass education minister Samir Ranjan Dash said as the new academic session is beginning from May 1 with 100% syllabus, the summer vacations have been curtailed to cover the entire syllabus. “Like CBSE, we will restore the single-exam format from the current academic year and practical exams for classes 9 and 10,” said Dash.
To ensure that classes go on despite a heatwave sweeping the state, the school and mass education department announced that morning classes will continue in the state. The morning classes will be conducted between 6 am and 9 am from May 1 and continue till June 5.
The decision to curtail the summer vacation comes amid a baseline assessment conducted last month which revealed that more than 40 per cent students of upper primary classes in Odisha schools scored less than 20% marks in Odia, Mathematics and English. The results of the baseline assessments showed that 42.40% of the students in class 6 scored less than 20% marks in mathematics while 40.53% students secured similar marks in English. Similarly, 44% class 7 students secured less than 20% marks in Odia language while 43% students got less than 20% marks in mathematics. Around 42% of class 7 students secured less than 20% marks in English.
Among class 8 students, secured around 35% less than 20% marks in Odia language while in Mathematics, the percentage of students scoring less than 20% marks was 40%. In English, 42.50% students of class 8 scored less than 20% marks. Nearly one-third of class 1 students secured less than 50% of marks in Odia language while 32% of the students of class-2 secured less than 33% of marks.
The Odisha School Education Program Authority which looks after the schools in the state floated a tender this week to select an agency that would help the government prepare a Learning Recovery Plan for the students over 3 months.
The agency selected to implement the learning recovery plan will hire 150 resource persons per district (25 people each for Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Botany, Zoology and English) for classes 11 and 12 and organize training camps for the teachers in different blocks of the districts.
The agency will train the teachers of schools by experts hired by it. It will also ensure proper implementation (conducting classes, syllabus to be covered, worksheets grading) of the micro-plan, and develop a mechanism to monitor the progress every day. It will prepare booklets for each class that caters to all the key concepts for that class.