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VN Chakravarthy, Principal, Pragathi Central School, Hyderabad: Technology rescued the sector

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VN Chakravarthy

Rightly said, the Corona Pandemic has created a lot of turmoil and turbulence. It has challenged every sector and has put the whole world on a ‘High Alert’ mode. In a situation like this, the schools being shut until further notice, what comes to our rescue is ‘Technology’. Well, undoubtedly, technology has become an indispensable part of our lives. However, we still have schools that depend largely on traditional methods.

Nonetheless, Corona ensured that schools inevitably took to technology. Like many other countries, India is experiencing severe lockdown isolating people in their homes. Along with other uncertainties, the question of how to keep students engaged positively and productively loomed large before all of us. We are aware that kids are bundles of energy. Keeping them indoors without engaging them resourcefully creates depression and desperation, leading to psychological issues. On one hand children cannot be handled and on the other hand, parents also find it hard to deal with child behaviour.

Keeping this in mind, we at Pragathi Central School, Hyderabad got ready to conquer the crisis. Students and teachers were asked to stay home. All teachers were informed to work from home with the available technological platforms and resources. A daily schedule was made for students, equipped with video lessons of physical activity/yoga in the morning to dance classes in the evening, with a fine integration and inclusion of academics, life skills, household chores, nap time, story time for younger kids, followed by worksheets for the completed lessons, etc. The teaching-learning process has been going on despite the lockdown. Therefore, it’s business as usual! A compelling shift towards technology, indeed!

It was a highly organised, step by step way with the aim of creating as much value as possible for the students, to reduce their idle hours, to engage them meaningfully while they could learn and have some organised fun activities. As a school, we had to empathise with parents and children. The towering courage exhibited by teachers to experiment with video lessons to be uploaded on to YouTube kids for the first time paved way to mixed feelings among teachers, though exciting and pleasant in the end.

Not to forget that any schedule without follow-up goes ineffective especially because children don’t always listen to parents. But, they unquestionably will listen to their teachers. So, the icing of the cake is the weekly follow-up calls that my teachers make to parents/children just to ensure that kids stay on task, so all the hard work does not go futile. Our parents are tremendously glad and it is a win-win for all stakeholders.

The children too have been responding brilliantly so that they don’t have to disappoint their beloved teachers. Amidst the lockdown, children are experiencing their teachers teach on-screen, loving the voice of their teachers addressing them affectionately and pampering them to complete their assignments. It was a wonderful play of efforts on both sides which charmed and reassured us infinitely. After all, action and reaction are always equal and opposite, isn’t it?

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