By Ms Alka Kapur, Principal, Modern Public School, Delhi
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
This saying goes perfect in today’s scenario as far as Education Fraternity is concerned. The sudden outbreak of Covid-19 caused by a Corona Virus has flustered the entire world. This situation challenged the education system across the world and forced educators and the learners to shift to an online mode of teaching learning process overnight.
Students have been the most vulnerable target of Corona Pandemic. It seems to them as if life has come to a halt. The students are under the supervision of their parents constantly and are suffering from Pandemic Fatigue. Their childhood has been captivated within the four walls. They miss talking to their friends, sharing food, roaming around and their eyes are constantly under the exposure of blue rays. Being confined within a limited space has deprived the students of the physical activities that form a critical part of their childhood and thereby turning minds into duller and inactive personalities. In most cases, the students are finding it hard to retain the information they receive online. It has also diminished the curiosity and ever-questioning attitude that most kids possess. Here comes the role of a teacher as facilitator. Educational institutions have to bring significant changes to bring new curricula to life in ways that engage students, offer enriching learning experiences and enhance a diverse range of outcomes. Bridging this gap at the earliest and trying to make sessions as interactive and stressfree for the students as possible is the challenging task these days. Successfully bridging this gap, Modern Public School, Shalimar Bagh has become a paragon for the educational institutions who are still struggling to maintain their existence amidst Corona affright. With its multifarious and multitudinal activities, the institution has set an example before its students how to turn setbacks into comeback to make certain that this disruption should become more constructive, progressive and collaborative. Along with regular academics sessions, the school conducts sessions on Astronomy, ATL, MUNs,, Performing and Visual Arts to empower their emotionally then on the other hand regular yoga sessions, Aerobics and other engaging activities are held to boost students’ kinesthesia. With an aim to ensure positive mental health of its students, MPS has launched a Helpline number namely MUSKURAHAT exclusively for the students to ensure them that there is someone who would listen to them without any preconceptions.
After students, it is the Teaching Fraternity which has become the next vulnerable strata as they have to juggle between the online and in-school challenge since the advent of online learning has been brought into practice. Although teaching fraternity with rigorous training has overcome this challenge successfully yet some challenges still persist. To ensure that the students are constructively engaged in their lessons, have understood concepts and respond in the virtual class are a few daunting tasks. How to bring perfection in the content delivery while keeping the students’ engaged constructively is the question that keeps haunting him/her because Power point Presentations, or simple lectures, or interactive sessions are not suffice. Using interactive tools with the help of softwares like Kahoot, Mentometer, Socrative, Class Dojo and many more should be put in practice to bring life to the virtual sessions. Apart from these practices, teacher has to ensure that she has set the learning outcomes incoherence with the learning objectives followed by an assessment aligned with her goals.
With the introduction of New Education Policy 2020, the whole education setup has to revamp its existing pattern and restructure the teaching methodologies while fighting the adversities in the contemporary scenarios. With this comes the aspect of Experiential Learning which caters to the overhauling of 5 Cs viz; communication, critical thinking, collaboration, creativity and the recent addition i.e. Core competency amongst students.
It is quite evident that the role of teaching fraternity has undergone sea change transformation. With the introduction of new subjects, focussed is laid on skill development. And this is possible only when the pedagogy of experiential learning happens beyond classrooms. The present generation expects something new in the classroom that can add to their skill set and incase the teacher is not able to meet the demands of the Gen Next , the theory of survival of the fittest comes in the picture. As a matter of fact, the facilitator should prepare rubrics for herself on daily basis and assess her quality oriented teaching on the basis of students’ feedback, Peer Observation and most importantly learning outcomes.
Digital Divide is yet another challenge before the education fraternity. Education during the Pandemic has impeded Teaching and Learning process for the less fortunate as it is distressing to set up digital infrastructure when faced with financial setbacks. Hence most of the people from the underprivileged strata of society have been severely impacted by the severity of the pandemic.
While the young cherubs fight their own battles in this digital transformation, the stakeholders of the school have to walk that extra mile for them. Changes can be hard, sudden changes even harder considering different constraints. It is therefore the duty of the guardians and teachers to guide them out of their distress and assist them with ushering in this change. As long as COVID lasts, it shall remain the responsibility of every responsible adult to lead the kids to a brighter tomorrow.