‘Mo Chatashalee’ to bridge learning gaps among 1 lakh primary grade students in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: As a step towards bridging the learning gaps among students of primary grade (Class 1 to 5) in the state, “Mo Chatashalee” initiative was launched in Bhubaneswar today by Civil society organisation “Atmashakti Trust” and its allies Odisha Shramajeebee Mancha (OSM) and Mahila Shramajeebee Mancha, Odisha (MSMO).

Eminent Odia film actress and founder of Sammanita, Varsha Priyadarshini, inaugurated the initiative. She appreciated the effort of the organisation to start the large scale programme on education for children.

The initiative which is also known as #Mission1lakh, will cover 1 lakh students from 17 districts (Koraput, Malkangiri, Nabarangpur, Rayagada, Kalahandi, Nuapada, Bolangir, Boudh, Gajapati, Kandhamal, Nayagarh, Mayurbhanj, Sundargarh, Jharsuguda, Deogarh and Sambalpur including slums of Bhubaneswar under Khurda district) who mostly depend on government schools for their education and could not access online education during the lockdown due to the lack of resources such as a smartphone, TV or where internet connectivity is erratic which pushed them at the periphery of education. The initiative which will have 100 days of learning will serve as an alternative learning avenue for the children to bridge learning gaps among them.

“During the lockdown, we started a Mission 3-5-8 campaign where we provided remedial classes in 82 blocks of 17 districts where 4364 school children of Classes 3, 5 and 8 by offering them remedial classes to bridge learning gaps so that they can be at par with their peers. The result was quite encouraging which helped us to run this large scale education programme,” said Anjan Pradhan, Convener of Odisha Shramajeebee Mancha Ms Ruchi Kashyap, Executive Trustee of Atmashakti Trust, and Ms Shanti Bhoi, President, Mahila Shramajeebee Mancha, Odisha.

“The unique feature of the whole programme is that it will be run through community contribution and volunteers will teach free of cost to these children,” they added.

Under this initiative, more than 7500 remedial teaching centres will be run with 10 to 25 children each will impart education, based on the location and taking care of the physical distancing norms and they will be looked after by a trained volunteer, selected from the locality. These volunteers will be trained to take remedial classes for these students so that they achieve minimum levels of learning appropriate to their class and can bridge the learning gaps, caused due to the loss of learning following the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent school closure.

The remedial classes will follow the state government’s Ujjwal module, a learning enhancement programme for Classes I to V and an effort will be made to improve Maths and Odia language skills among students initially.

The volunteers will also assess the students frequently to understand the learning outcomes.

Among others, former Finance Minister Panchanan Kanungo, senior Journalist Priya Ranjan Sahu, Convener of Odisha RTE Forum Anil Pradhan, Educationist Dr Supriya Mallick and Dileswari Dharua, a volunteer teacher from Bolangir joined the inaugural event.

In this event, 19 volunteer teachers from various parts of the state along with media persons were felicitated for their supporting Mission 3-5-8 campaign during the lockdown.