Education Times, Manorama Das, an official at the Odisha Board of Secondary Education (BSE) says, “Inclusion of these kinds of topics was the need of the hours. Students suffered the most and are lagging behind. In the coming time, if such calamity strikes, they should know the basic precautions to follow at schools and their homes to nip it in the bud.”
This will be taught as a regular subject in school. “Subject teachers will teach this topic. The chapters will be included in disaster management in Geography and Life Sciences, in their class IX, X textbooks,” says Das.
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“The task of integrating these topics with classes IX-X syllabus was taken after consultation with several officials of Directorate of Education (DoE) and educationists. Syllabus committee reviewed the content, which was later approved by the state government,” adds Das.
Sabita Sahoo, syllabus in charge for IV-VIII classes, Curriculum Cell (SCERT), Odisha says, “For classes IV-VIII the draft is not prepared completely. As for now, the rough draft contains the simple concepts of Covid – problems of the pandemic, its causes, symptoms and precautions to follow. To facilitate easy understanding of these topics among students, a set of practice questions shall also be provided in the textbooks.” These Covid-preparedness topics are planned to be included in Environmental Studies or Environmental Sciences (EVS) textbooks for classes IV-VI students. Whereas, class VII-VIII students will study these topics in Geography and Science books.
In 2021, West Bengal has included chapters on Covid and its management in the school syllabus to raise health awareness. The syllabus reform committee headed by Avik Mazumdar had reviewed the chapters before introducing them. Chapters on Covid were included with the state board curriculum, which is taught to class XI students attending the state schools.
A school principal of a Kolkata-based school, says on the condition of anonymity, “These topics are important for students to learn, but its implementation is not uniform in all schools. If the government is planning to introduce it in primary schools, the teachers should be trained to give the students practical information. Educating students on do’s and don’ts of quarantine through video format and activity-based projects might be more suitable and effective.”