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Ishita Chowdhury, Principal, Pawar Public School, Dombivali, Mumbai: To teach without classroom a huge challenge

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Ishita Chowdhury

India imposed a three-week-long nation-wide lockdown, the most far-reaching measure undertaken by the government to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. It is rightly said, “Schools are so much more than just schools and teachers are irreplaceable and essential to learning.” Most of the teaching and learning comes from talking, discussing, questioning, answering – and then questioning again. To teach remotely without a classroom talk is a huge challenge.

Keeping in mind the effect of the postponement of the ICSE examinations, we have suggested the parents to encourage their wards to study and to revise for about 8 hours every day to perform to their potential in the remaining papers. They are advised to follow a self-study schedule as per their needs in the subjects remaining to be assessed.

Due to this sudden outbreak of the pandemic, the pupils of Grade 9 and 10 (new academic batch) are facing significant difficulties in their teaching and learning process. To tackle the situation, the facilitators of Pawar Public School, Dombivali have taken the help of technology and uploaded relevant self-explanatory study material. We have uploaded assignments and project topics, journal writing topics, scanned explanations, related notes, questions and answers on our online portal, E-CAMPUS as well as on teno app.

The facilitators are leaving no stone unturned to impart knowledge effectively using the digital contents despite social distance. We have identified a few self-study topics with the help of Extramarks Learning App and shared them with the pupils as part of the flipped classroom technique. Extramarks has announced that it will be providing free access through its educational app to the pupils. With this initiative, our facilitators and pupils can download and access the learning content.

Amidst this crisis, it is indeed a relief for the pupils of Grade 1 to 8 as their annual examinations are over and they went for an early academic term break. During this time, we have engaged themselves by uploading some subject-wise activity-based worksheets to revise core concepts. These worksheets comprise various riddles, crafts, puzzles, brain teasers and colouring activities.

Remote learning may be more accessible to some pupils than others. The parents of the Pre-Primary Section are requested to use the Next PlayApp and the workbooks provided to their wards in the last academic year and revise the concepts. They are also advised to read interactively in English, encourage their wards to discuss about pictures, and talk on different topics to enhance conversational skills. The facilitators have also suggested ways to make the playtime more useful and practical by engaging the tiny tots with household chores like peeling a boiled potato skin, shelling peas, kneading the dough to make shapes, numbers and letters. We believe in the maxim,‘Health is Wealth’ hence have adopted teaching-learning methods that would benefit the pupils not only academically but also physically. The school has taken the initiative by sharing pictures of a few physical exercises and yoga asanas to be done at home. It will help the pupils to stay fit and healthy without going out. With a view to impart continuous holistic education, our pupils being conscientious citizens have been a part of a social awareness campaign and prepared a video on the coronavirus pandemic highlighting the steps to keep in mind to protect oneself and stay healthy during the lockdown.

All these measures would help our pupils acquire knowledge in an exciting, unconventional way and might be a welcome break from the monotonous school routine.

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