Hyderabad: Amid the second wave of the COVID-19 crisis, parents have become highly concerned about their child’s wellbeing and they are all set to make sure their education is not put on hold. The prolonged period of the pandemic has impacted us negatively in body and mind equally. It has impacted the inquisitive minds of the students as well. That is why parents and guardians try to make sure that their child’s learning stays uninterrupted.
Schools need to play a vital role in achieving this objective. It is realised that their role is not limited to only teaching but also involves responsibilities to ensure the wellbeing of students and the parents’ community. Schools should offer them all the support and assistance they can, to make sure that students’ learning is continuous and impactful.
The transition of shifting from physical to virtual learning model was not an easy task for the schools. They have started to train teachers to deal with the new normal. Teachers are taught to constantly keep upgrading themselves, question assumptions, and keep the ultimate goal in mind i.e. ensuring the learner’s development and provide students with an unhindered learning experience. During this period, taking learning online was imperative and the teachers decided to put all their training in tech integration, data collation and management together and put the online tools to use for the maximum ease and benefit for their students.
While students at middle school and senior classes gradually got accustomed to the new learning environment, the biggest challenge during this crisis was the toddlers who were getting their first exposure to school through a laptop. It was certainly not an ideal situation, but unavoidable at this given time. Moreover, many cases have been witnessed where parents were seen to postpone the decision of commencement of their child’s education.
Speaking on this, Hema Chennupaty, Principal, Oakridge Gachibowli, says, “It is important that a crisis does not disrupt any child’s education. A well-balanced virtual learning programme helps in maintaining the intellectual sustenance and development in early learners instead of making them go through a long period of idleness till the schools reopen in a distant future.”
On the other hand, parents were, predictably, confused and worried about the screen time for their children. A blended learning approach, which combines both online and offline activities, helps with screen time management. From experiments to engaging projects, the exciting offline activities provided by the schools have seen higher participation and interaction among its students. More than 5000+ students from across Oakridge International Schools in India, recorded over 7.89 lakh online sessions since March 2020, showing the sustained interest and engagement with online learning, when carefully blended with offline learning activities. Aiding smart tools like Artificial Intelligence and Data Science to map students’ progress and skill development in a detailed manner helped the facilitators understand the development thoroughly.
“In addition to just managing screen time, Blended Learning allows students to have access to more information, learn at their own pace and helps teachers make the overall learning experience more interactive and project led,” says Hema Chennupaty.
These little children are the future of our nation. It should be a collaborative effort of all the academic stakeholders to keep young learners away from this pandemic blue as much as one could and help them with a positive environment where they can learn and grow with ease and grace without any hindrance.