The arrival of the Novel Coronavirus has shattered the world! Children are locked in their homes while they should have been out — learning, exploring and experiencing the tough adventure that the world has bestowed upon them. Among the most impacted during this COVID-19 pandemic, are the school children. This brings to the schools a big challenge of how to still impart education to the students. Almost all schools were found unprepared for this. Schools never envisaged something like this coming and hence had never prepared their teachers for the same. As a result, it was not a a question of who can switch to online schooling immediately. It was a question of how soon they can switch to online schooling and in the right manner. Many schools diverted to online schooling in a matter of days but they ignored the most important aspect of training their teachers on both the system as well as online specific education skills.
We invited schools of the region to share how (and how soon) they accustomed themselves to the new world of teaching. Only few responses have been received so far, but some of them are encouraging indeed. In the series covering the responses, this happens to be our first coverage. Pacific world school in Noida extension feels they have turned a setback into a comeback. The school mentions that in the session 2019-20, teachers of the school were trained in Microsoft Tools for Innovative Teaching Practices. The school further told us that it is working till 22nd May for students till grade V and till 29th May for students of grade VI onwards as opposed to the customary closing of schools in mid-May. The school would also take extra classes and revision sessions to reinforce the topics taught online once the schools open physically after lockdown.
Since the lockdown has resulted in the slowing of the economy with many households facing financial challenges the school management has taken the following actions to ease the financial burden on the parents:
● Fee hike has been rolled back.
● Parents have been exempted from paying the Transport fee.
● All late fee charges have been waived off.
● Payment is being received monthly as opposed to quarterly.
The school is using Microsoft teams for conducting online classes. The teachers of Pacific World School are exploring a multitude of Microsoft Tools such as Microsoft Office, OneNote, Outlook, Forms etc on Microsoft Teams for ensuring effectiveness of these virtual lessons.
For the learners of the Pre-Primary Classes, a multitude of age appropriate activities such as Storytelling, Salt Tracing, Collage Making, Sharing Time, Making Sensory Stations, Finger Gymming, Origami, Bring and Brag, Digit Garland Making etc are being conducted to ensure a holistic development of all the five domains viz. Social, Emotional, Physical, Language and Cognitive. On the other hand for learners of the Primary and Senior Classes various Discussions, Debates, Project Based Learning, Peer Teaching, PowerPoint Presentations, Online Tests through MS Forms etc. are being organised to ensure maximum learning outcome. The school is also ensuring that its children are participating in inter school events as well. 3 of its students recently honored in a fundraiser debate competition by Behes organisation.
While we await more inputs from other schools, few other schools in the region like DWPS, Infinity school are also working towards similar objective. We will keep adding to this article as we hear further from schools.