The pandemic caused by Covid-19 Virus is a very serious issue. It has thrown a huge challenge to not only our country, but to a very large part of the entire globe. Though it is a global issue, every country as well as region within each country have their own local challenges. Whatever the Indian Government is doing to tackle this pandemic is commendable and exemplary.
We are a country of 130 crore people with huge demographic and geographical diversity. These diversities offer varied challenges in terms of resource availability, allocation and prioritisation. We are located in Chhindwara, Madhya Pradesh and our School is the first and only ICSE School in our district. Our endeavour is to develop exemplary academic and co-curricular facilities for our students, so that they evolve as fully groomed future citizens of our proud nation and no lesser than their counterparts who live in much developed and effluent environments. Our entire gamut of programmes pertaining to academics; personality development; skill development and honing; imparting moral and social values; sports training; fine arts training etc. are all integrated to achieve the goal of holistic development of students. Activities and programmes pertaining to all the above aspects are planned right at the beginning of academic year with a small provision of revising the schedule in case of some exigencies. However, this long period of lockdown, which was never envisaged, has posed a new challenge.
Never the less, as they say, ‘expect the unexpected’. We have taken this challenge and have reoriented several of our programmes so as to utilize this time to our advantage and also ensure that the planned programmes do not get impacted adversely to a great extent. What we have done can be summarised as below:
· Class wise and subject wise syllabus to be covered in this period of lockdown is jotted down. For the purpose of practicality and probable extension of lockdown period, we included that portion as well which was to be covered up to end of April 2020.
· Each Class teacher took inputs from subject teachers and compiled this syllabus for all the subjects and made a comprehensive schedule in form of a single document.
· It is important to mention here that we are located in such a region where we do not have good internet connectivity. Some of our students come from nearby towns and villages. Considering this limitation, we found it difficult to conduct ‘Zoom’ meetings and had to only resort to WhatsApp applications and their usage.
· The Class teacher conveyed this compiled document of portion to be covered for each of the subject to all their students of the class. Alongside also formed a ‘Time Table’ giving daily time slots for each of the subjects. The teachers have developed study material accordingly and it is sent to sudents through WhatsApp groups.
· Based on this, the students are advised to read the assigned portion and prepare for a discussion and jot down their doubts and questions. At the designated time the teachers conduct a conference call and discuss the same.
· Based on this discussions and doubts raise by students, the teachers also prepare small video lectures and post to the students. Once the topic is clear to all the students, the teachers send a small test on the same WhatsApp group and take reply to the test questions in within a stipulated time. This ensures ‘closing of the ‘Teaching-Learning cycle’ aptly.
· Similarly, virtual classes are conducted through the same groups for other activities. For example:
o The sports teacher has asked all the students to mail their own videos every morning before 7 AM showing them doing ‘Surya Namaskar’. This is done daily and the sports teacher views these videos and suggests correction by uploading his own video.
o The Music teacher also shares and gets response of music and singing through audio messages.
Though all these cannot fully substitute for the actual class room and face to face ‘Teaching- Learning’ process, it certainly helps in maintaining a continuity interaction and education. Though this effort is not fully satisfying exercise for us, but under the circumstances and with the limited connectivity resources we have, we are trying to do our best and are trying to convert the adversity to our advantage.