Educational institutions in most countries are now closed to contain the spread of coronavirus, resulting in the home-schooling of millions of students globally.
Schools in India have been working hard in partnership with the parents and educational boards in creating a comprehensive online infrastructure for the effective remote learning of their students.
In light of Covid-19 pandemic, a wide array of public and private services has been suspended countrywide.
In line with its comprehensive approach, the government has tried to address the equally important issue of psychological health with Manodarpan, a programme that covers both parents and students at a time when unprecedented challenges and stress have raised mental health issues.
Elets digitalLEARNING magazine organized a webinar on “Boarding Schools & Virtual Learning: Is it possible?”. The webinar highlighted the way the boarding schools can review from the crisis. Dr Ravi Gupta, CEO & Editor-in-Chief, Elets Technomedia welcomed the eminent speakers.
Aditi Goradia, Managing Director, Billimoria High School, Panchgani, said “In times like this, many educators are coming together for betterment of education. Maharashtra was one of the first states to impose lockdown in the country. We have kids from all across the world and we are worried how to send students back home as we have international ones. We are also worried about the safety of students. In March, we stopped visitors and asked parents to stay away from the school.”
The big question is, do we have the internet connections to conduct classes and do we want to burden our children; the parents are worried about what’s going to happen next, but we are working every possible way to help our students, she added.
Dr. Monalisa Bal, Chairperson, KIIT International School, Bhubaneshwar, said “Our exams were conducted before March and by 15th the state govt has declared lockdown. We were working on how the teachers will take class in the pandemic. The huge challenge was conducting the board exams during the pandemic. We used the technology to our best and conducted our classes.”
“Earlier, the teachers were not comfortable with the online classes but with time it got eased off. The plan has to be there and we are giving case studies to students,” she added.
Dr. Jagpreet Singh, Headmaster, The Punjab Public School, Nabha, said “Our management took a wise decision to send children back home. The Punjab govt imposed lockdown across the state. The situation is unprecedented and we have never thought of conducting classes online. The challenge was to shift from the offline classes to online ones. The panic started when all schools started conducting online classes.”
There are three phases of education, teaching, learning and assessments. The change started, when we have to home learning, he added.
Lt. Gen. Surendra Kulkarni, Director, Mayo College, Ajmer, said “From 4th March, we went on a self quarantine mode. We completely shut down our campus and on 13th we decided to start our summer vacation. Our biggest challenge was to make the teachers change their mind-set. We have to provide training to teachers to take classes online. We have to take care of the professional and hygienic needs of teachers.”
The new challenge is because of the lockdown, students cannot go out, so we have to find some way to engage them, he added.