By Gurdial Kaur | SINGAPORE |
In view of the Covid-19 situation, Non-Tamil Indian Languages (NTIL) weekend classes in Singapore were suspended on 21 March 2020. In response, Singapore Sikh Education Foundation (SSEF) has put in place Home-Based Learning (HBL) for all levels from Kindergarten to A levels. SSEF tapped on its existing portal for the Kindergarten and Primary levels while Google classroom was used for the Secondary and A Levels.
SSEF is fortunate to have educators leading the organization who were able to guide and train the teachers to look at the possibilities of re-enacting classroom instructions through the SSEF online portal and Google Classroom. Teachers met on the first day of closure on 21 March to conceptualise the delivery of lessons and enthusiastically recorded themselves delivering different components of the curriculum. In addition to the video recordings, teachers explored additional resources such as audio embedded into learning activities, videos depicting animated stories as well as interactive and engaging activities to motivate young learners. The secondary and Junior College youth interacted with customised learning packages.
For the last few weeks, lessons have been made available online to the students on Saturday mornings. These are carried out at all levels to ensure that teaching and learning is not compromised and that students are carrying out the assigned tasks. We are pleased to announce that almost all our students are turning in their assignments promptly and teachers give timely feedback to the students on the work submitted.
SSEF would like to place on record its sincere appreciation for the support that it has received from parents in guiding their children from home as well as acknowledging the efforts of our Staff. SSEF would also like to thank all Centre Principals and teachers for the time and effort that they have put into the preparation of teaching and learning materials. Our teachers will continue with the rigorous follow up, track students’ learning and provide feedback.
It was indeed a steep learning curve for all of us at SSEF. The positive feedback that we have received from parents has reinforced the commitment of our Centre Principals and teachers who have gone beyond to explore more tools to better engage our students.
HBL will continue for the rest of the semester despite the directive from the Board for the Teaching and Testing of South Asian Languages (BTTSAL) that NTIL Mid-Year Examinations and Term 2 Weighted Assessments for Primary 3 and Secondary 1 will be cancelled.
Despite HBL being a new mode of learning, SSEF has surmounted various challenges and will continue to endeavour to bring out the best in every child to enhance the learning of the Punjabi Language in Singapore.
Feedback from our parents:
“As a parent, I appreciate the efforts of the teachers for developing home based lessons to support the students’ learning. Kudos to the teachers and the Principal who allays our concerns.” – SSEF Punjabi School (Secondary)
“The online platform used for Primary is seamless and easy to navigate. Thanks to the clear and crisp instructions provided by the Principal and teachers to prepare the students and parents. Teachers’ voice and delivery of lessons was clear and engaging. Difficult content was contextualized and made easy for students.” – SSEF Punjabi School (Primary)
“Although HBL is new to all of us, the amount of work that the Principal and teachers have put in to make materials colourful, engaging and fun for young children is commendable. Due to the quality of each week’s lesson, we feel that learning of Punjabi via HBL mode is as meaningful as learning in a classroom” – SSEF Kindergarten
Gurdial Kaur is the chairperson of the Singapore Sikh Education Foundation (SSEF), a self-help group in Singapore providing Punjabi Language education for students from Kindergarten to A Levels.
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