Shama Tarapurwala, Principal, Anjuman Islam Saiftyabji Girls High School & Junior College, Mumbai: E-Learning can resolve things in crisis

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Shama Tarapurwala

There is no doubt that the pandemic has paralyzed one of the major backbones of any nation “Academics”. In fact, it’s impossible for anyone to imagine how a gentle living being “virus” gradually could grow into a disaster resulting into an entire world lockdown thereby leaving no sector pre-planned so as how to cope with the situation. Meanwhile, Internet (world wide web) emerged as a global hero accompanying most of us in self – isolation and thereby teaching the world a new approach, “WORK FROM HOME “. But the “ifs” and “buts” are still unresolved for the community called “students. Especially, in a country like India , where March – April are the crucial months for conducting final exams across many education boards and universities in the nation, academicians are facing the biggest challenge so as how to cope up with the deep loss. So as to keep the students engrossed, like many schools and colleges, we too are conducting online live sessions using platforms such as Skype and zoom meeting to cover up the remaining curriculum.

With localities that have either poor or no access to Internet, pre-recorded videos are also uploaded on youtube channels so to be viewed as per students’ accessibility to network. Also, during or after each sessions, we offer online notes either in .doc (ms word file) or pdf format. Another measure that our institution has undertaken is organizing the online exams. ClassMarker, the app like many other available online provides the facility to create questions of subjective and objective types, thereby allowing selection of test pattern and test type.

With no idea of lockdown lasting how long, instead of postponing the exams, we have preferred this kind of online exams. Also, we are streaming live webinars once a week during lockdown days, where we meet online students along with their parents. This helps us to maintain the healthy “teacher-parents relationship” . Like many other apps, ” Teach Us ” has been brought into extensive use by us for online attendance and online updation of syllabus covered .

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So as not to lose hope and preventing morale letting go down, we have made our faculties available to meet students online for doubt solving or any emotional setback during given specific hours of the day. Exams which are beyond our authority of organizing , like degree final year, and supposed to be conducted by respective universities (Mumbai University, in my case) , we are preparing students for some interviews processes by uploading appropriate links to videos , thereby keeping students engrossed in their activities.

Likewise, many more institutions must too try to remain in virtual contact of students to make sure they utilize the precious time and do not compromise on their careers ahead. Also, once a week, we are arranging some humorous activities like, online quiz and puzzles sessions with respect to syllabus to monitor their weekly preparation and performance.

Since kids love these creative ideas, we find more enhancements in the performance and involvements. We do make use of google forms, asking students weekly regarding feedbacks and suggestions online to improve. We then implement these suggestions positively towards further improvement. Apart from all above mentioned, excessive use of google drive for videos and notes access, WhatsApp groups for messages broadcasting, are always into consideration. Also, even after lockdown is over, we are also coming up with “vision post-lockdown scenario” too so as not to hassle as we switch back to classroom systems.

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