While schools in West Bengal will reopen for classes eight to 12 from Thursday, the state government has issued a notification for holding open air learning sessions from pre-primary level up to class seven in every locality from February 7 due to the pandemic situation.
The project named 'Paray Sikshalay' (education centre at your locality) will have segments like honing up vocabulary and numerical skills, story telling, rhymes, song and dance as well as classes in respective subjects, the notification issued by school education department said.
Education Minister Bratya Basu earlier said 50,159 schools will be involved in the 'Paray Sikshalay' project in which classes will be held on open grounds adjacent to school buildings. Over two lakh regular teachers and 21,000 para-teachers (contractual teachers) will impart education to children there.
Around 60 lakh students would be benefited from the project, he said. "In the COVID situation we realise a large number of students of many schools, especially in rural areas, are being deprived of classroom teaching which is impeding their growth. Our initiative will enable students to attend classes in the open space in their own locality. It has been hailed by UNESCO,” he had said.
Educationist Pabitra Sarkar was not sure whether this mechanism will have any positive impact. "I don't know if the necessary infrastructure can be created for this," he said. SFI state general secretary Srijan Bhattacharya said the project is nothing but a gimmick and infrastructure is not available to hold regular classes involving so many students.
ABVP national secretary Saptarshi Sarkar said the 'Paray Sikshalay' project was announced without serious deliberations and only regular classes even at the pre-primary level will help the students.
Trinamool Congress Chhatra Parishad state president Trinankur Bhattacharya, however, said this unique initiative of the state government will benefit the students of lower classes who cannot immediately attend offline classes in buildings due to the pandemic situation.
With inputs from PTI.