Adversity is an opportunity for change: Article on COVID 19 by: Gurdeep Kaur, Principal, Shri Harshad C. Valia International School, Mumbai

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Gurdeep Kaur

Engulfed by the threat posed by this global pandemic and the challenges to contain the corona virus educational institutes and students are facing a huge setback due to the closure of schools across the globe. Though this closure is inevitable and necessary, more so because a school environment is very well suited for the transmission of the disease considering the fact that we have several students packed together in a classroom.

We, at Shri Harshad C Valia International School, have pledged to take care of ourselves and others in terms of safety and at the same time believe in utilizing this time to upgrade our skills and learn a new skill. We all agree that digitization, e learning, online learning are the mantras for the day but not many of us could do justice in the true sense, whatever maybe the reason like time, resources etc. We need to be highly creative in these trying times to develop strategies as fast as the obstacles appear .Its definitely not an easy task to completely change the teaching mode as there are emotional and psychological scaffolds needed to teach in this new paradigm.

Everybody thinks they can’t, before they can .Online or distance learning poses a lot many challenges in the initial stages but they are not unsurmountable. Maybe the future has just become the present and online teaching is the new normal. Therefore, we at Shri Harshad C. Valia International School decided to plunge into this ocean and submerge ourselves completely as time and space are at our disposal. The school exams were called off and assignments were designed and provided immediately which were to be completed and mailed back to their respective teachers.

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We started by updating ourselves on videoconferencing tools, subsequently conducted staff meetings on “The Zoom platform”, followed by recorded lectures by teachers’ .Once the teachers were acclimatized with the platform, live lectures were started, which was really enjoyed by the students and highly appreciated by their parents. The teachers are now using google classroom, an amazing tool for providing teaching material, assignments and assessment.

There is so much we yet need to be acquainted with and we are open to change, because that is the whole purpose of Education…… to replace an empty mind with an open mind.

(Gurdeep Kaur, Principal, Shri Harshad C. Valia International School, Mumbai)

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