Even students in remote areas attended our online classes as the tools being used were mobile- friendly as well as computer-based online tools, says Dr Skand Bali, Principal, The Hyderabad Public School, Begumpet, Hyderabad in a conversation with Elets News Network (ENN).
The Hyderabad Public School, a co-educational, day cum residential school established in 1923 with 5 students, has grown leaps & bounds to be one of the best schools in India and Telangana. Though it is one of the oldest schools of the state, it has always been at the forefront in providing world-class education with an excellent infrastructure, well-trained staff and a leadership team driven by its strong vision.
When the unprecedented COVID lockdown was declared mid- march and schools asked to shut down. We were yet to complete our 2019-2020 academic year. Just like all other schools, we were unprepared for this lockdown but eagles don’t complain they are problem solvers and so are we!
We took this storm as a challenge to spread our mighty wings of learning and used the unseen current to soar to greater heights.
Our Teachers set the ball rolling by embracing e-learning techniques in a big way to ensure children do not lose their academic front. We reached out to the parents and students to join classes on mobile or computer. Simultaneously, our teachers identified topics from the content and recreated lesson plans to immediately provide online classes using zoom followed by google meet & Google classroom apps later. They also used many other tools like Educational YouTube videos, video/presentations, etc. to make the sessions more engaging. Even students in remote areas attended our online classes as the tools being used were mobile- friendly as well as computer-based online tools and we completed all our sessions minimizing the disruption to the academic schedule and significantly increasing student engagement during the lockdown period before closure on 30th April.
Our highly enthusiastic team simultaneously prepared themselves for the next academic year by redesigning their lesson plans and skilling themselves with required skills to conduct online classes more effectively by attending various online works shops and also by a team with required expertise from the school itself.
Thus, we seamlessly adjusted ourselves to the new normal of remote teaching and learning.
Though we had our set of challenges as our school has students coming from all status of the society as we follow RTE rule to the “T” and we are a unique model of social inclusion. We are having both synchronous and asynchronous modes of lesson delivery, these recorded classes enable the student community to compensate for the frequent disconnection even from remote areas.
We are due to begin our new academic year for the middle, primary and pre-primary classes and we are all prepared to start from June 1st as per schedule. In a recent online staff meeting, we were discussing how effortlessly the online classes were conducted and we were pleasantly surprised by the positive participation from students making them more interactive and effective. We still miss our students in our school premises but as the health & safety of students has always been our first priority we are prepared to sail through the new normal of teaching online till the lockdown is completely lifted and schools open to receive students.
As every adversity comes with an opportunity, this adversity has certainly taught us one of the biggest lessons that “learning doesn’t happen only in classrooms, but can happen anywhere anytime provided a right the environment is created around students with wholehearted efforts by teachers”
This adversity has brought all stakeholders responsible for the education of children –Teachers, students and parents closer than before. Lessons learned from this adversity are sure to stay in school ecosystems for times to come.