School-based online education: Regulating and monitoring planned
Authorities looking at single timetable, at zonal/provincial/national level
Tech difficulties to be addressed
Once a week school if Covid-19 situation improves
By Sarah Hannan
The Ministry of Education has announced plans to regulate school-based online education for children, The Sunday Morning learnt.
Speaking to the newspaper, Ministry of Education Secretary Prof. Kapila Perera noted: “The ideal way to regulate the delivery of online lessons to students through schools would be to have a single timetable, zonal-wise, provincial-wise, or island-wise, that will function during regular school times between 7.30 a.m. and 1.30 p.m., from Monday through to Friday, from Grade Three upwards.”
While the Ministry has identified the technical difficulties that could arise in this context, they are also in the process of looking at having customised timetables for each educational division in order to ease the monitoring process, including regarding the participation of both the students and the staff.
“We understand that in different households, there would be difficulties such as when one device will need to be shared between the siblings who are in different grades. To address these difficulties, we have the lessons delivered through the Gurugedara television programme and the E-Thaksalawa online learning platform,” Prof. Perera noted.
For children in schools in areas that lack technological facilities, the teachers are to ask the parents to visit the schools and collect the learning materials for exercises and assessments, and then hand them over, upon completion, to the teachers, on a particular day.
Moreover, the Ministry is looking at obtaining feedback from the subject directors in the divisional education offices and at the ministerial level, so as to monitor the progress of the number of students attending the online classes, their level of achievement, the delivery of lessons, the learning outcomes of a particular topic, and the completion of exercises and assessments.
“As the country’s situation improves, we will look at the possibility of getting the children, in each grade, at least the minimum number of students per class, in localised places, to attend school at least one day per week, with the authorisation of the area’s Public Health Inspector and Medical Officer of Health along with parental consent,” Prof. Perera added.