Tiruchirapalli

Illam Thedi Kalvi Scheme aligned to UNESCO’s Education for Sustainable Development goal in Thayanur village

A volunteer trains students on utility of Google Lens App at Thayanur village in Tiruchi district.

Deriving optimal utility of Illam Thedi Kalvi (ITK) Scheme of School Education Department, introduced by the DMK Government to bridge learning gaps caused during the pandemic lockdowns, a group of volunteers in Thayanur village in Manikandam block has sought to actualise UNESCO's Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) goal that envisages acquisition of necessary knowledge, skills, attitudes and values by learners to shape their future, through a pro-active approach on a long-term basis.

The ITK, introduced by the Department to rectify the learning gap caused by the lockdowns due to COVID-19 pandemic, is currently serving as an effective platform for the group of 20 volunteers to serve the academic and multidimensional progress of as many as 380 primary level students during the evening hours.

The volunteers mostly teach English, Tamil, and Mathematics to the students, besides engaging them in cultural activities and imparting training in basic farm activities.

According to R.Rajamanickam and T.Anitha, volunteers, the initiative took off at the outset during the lockdown on the premise that online education, particularly for rural children, can never be a match for in-person training. Subsequently, it evolved as a vibrant activity fostered by synergy by stake-holders.

"Overwhelming support from parents has bolstered the positive Impact of this initiative to enhance capabilities of the students in curricular, extra-curricular and life skills," S.Sivakumar, educator and retired Principal, District Institute of Education and Training, Kancheepuram, who was instrumental in coordinating the efforts of parents, volunteers, and the local schools and the Panchayat authorities, said.

The initiative was prompted by the stark reality that learning gap in multi-grade schools is a perennial issue also due to absenteeism by students due to the compulsion to move out with their parents who are in search of jobs, unfilled teaching vacancies, maternity leave, medical leave and other such factors.

The contributions from like-minded people and parents are being utilised towards study material, nutritional refreshments for children and for conducting extra-curricular activities. The latest activity is familiarising the students to useful Google apps for translation, lens et al.

On their part, the volunteers who are a motivated lot in transforming the learners into responsible citizens expect the State Government to accord higher importance to the ITK scheme.

"It will indeed be in the fitness of things to accord permanence for the initiative by roping in School Management Committees for further improving the effectiveness of the ITK Scheme. There is bound to be phenomenal transformation in the learning levels of students if the government scales up resource support to panchayats for the activities and posts a volunteer specifically for implementing the scheme," Mr. Sivakumar emphasised.


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Printable version | Apr 23, 2022 10:05:31 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/illam-thedi-kalvi-scheme-aligned-to-unescos-education-for-sustainable-development-goal-in-thayanur-village/article65348550.ece