The COVID-19 lockdown has put our strength and resilience to a test by interrupting our daily lives, unparalleled in recent history. It is indeed a difficult time for all of us. In an effort to break the chain of the pandemic, schools throughout the globe are shifting to online teaching-learning mode. There is nothing like interacting face to face, and getting engaged in sharing creative ideas and life’s lessons, brainstorming sessions, funny anecdotes inside the classroom. But the need of the hour is to stay safe at home.
The teachers are in constant pursuit to adapt to the change and make learning fun, effective and engaging through virtual classes. The initiative ‘Bharat Padhe Online Campaign’ by MHRD demands special reference in this regard. This campaign has been rolled out to make online classes more effective, where people are pouring in their valuable suggestions.
To invigorate the online classes, teachers are leaving no stone unturned to ensure joy, warmth, and humour while video conferencing with the students. Nidhi Bansal, Pro-Vice Chairperson, Pacific World School, said, “This transition to the virtual mode is an outcome of the collaborative efforts of the school management, teachers, students, and parents. Meticulous planning, frequent parent-teacher interface via WhatsApp, reliance on online resources and most importantly, the learner’s enthusiastic involvement is indeed inspiring elements in the collaboration.”
Though there is no replacement to direct human interaction, the virtual classes are indeed a smooth transition from the conventional classes. Pallavi Uphadhyaya,Principal, DPS Rajnagar Extension said, “The video interaction has provided an edge to the entire learning system, it has made students explore more learning platforms and implement ideas that they have never tried before. The lockdown situation would have proven to be very boring had there been no E-learning for these young minds. Attending online classes is easy and comes with the comfort of homes. This is also reflecting a positive impact on their attendance.”
The popular opinion of the parent is the teaching fraternity has aptly managed to engage different types of learners through modules like sharing videos, interactive sessions, lectures, creating presentations, exploration of related online content and discussion on the practical implications of a topic, thus relating theories to real-life applications (experiential learning).
Priyanaka Barara, Principal, Delhi International School, shared her thoughts on the syllabus pace in this lockdown period. “The students are learning well as their online orientation allows them to singularly focus on studying without interpersonal distractions. Although, school is a platform where the student develops his skill set not just on the basis of academics but from their peers and extra- curricular activities as well. The endeavour is to be able to inculcate all the facets of learning online and engage students positively in such times of crisis”
Sangeeta Hajela, Principal, DPS Indirapuram said, “The quarantine period has made our teaching staff and students more proactive. Video and reference links are being shared with students before the class to give them a gist of the whole session; it also provides them a window for preparation leading to increased participation during class assignments.”
The teachers are also encouraging students to explore creativity, enjoy family bonds, play indoor games, learn new skills, practice yoga, read e-books, eat nutritious food and stay safe at home.
We will definitely see the light at the end of the tunnel. Once the whole episode of the pandemic becomes history, we want to look back with pride, on the choice we made- of the community coming together to find ways to overcome the curse of the pandemic.