Guwahati: Several homes with children across the country have turned into virtual classrooms following the announcement of nationwide lockdown by Prime Minister Narendra Modi amid COVID-19 pandemic.
However, there were also concerns about whether or not the process of conducting e-classes will be feasible. Guwahati-based Royal Global School, which after trying out several platforms, opened its virtual classrooms on April 6 and continues to do so as the lockdown reaches its third phase. Along with adapting to online technologies, the schools had to overcome the challenge of preparing an interactive curriculum.
“It is not only academics that we are dealing with. There are other aspects which we are paying importance as well. For example, we have been teaching children the essentials of Yoga, they have been taught aerobics, arts & craft, drawing lessons are being imparted to them as well as sports. The children are having a mix of everything best that we could give them,” said Binita Jain, senior coordinator of Royal Global School.
Along with trying out new avenues, there were also concerns of the children’s mental health. The transformation from being in a buzzing environment to being confined to homes for and uncertain amount of time raised worries among the parents.
A concerned parent Ruchi Bora said, “The lockdown has been taking a toll on the mental well-being of the children. They are used to going to school every day but now they can’t go out, not even to play. It can be really frustrating and psychologically pull oneself down as it gets boring for them. But with the introduction of online classes they have a fixed routine. They get to interact with friends and teachers. Though it is virtually but they are interacting with more people than just their parents.”
Simi Batra, mother of a daughter, is of the opinion that initiation of online classes will work as a game changer in the education system and make the process of learning more interactive and engaging.
“I think the system is going to reset the entire education concept which was earlier based on preparing for exams. This is because the schools have done a commendable job in enabling personalised lesson charts which makes learning more interactive, fun and engaging. Apart from academics, they have started co-curricular activities. So, one of the changes I see in my daughter is that she is more self-motivated to finish her work. She is definitely sticking to a routine, there is definitely a discipline in her work and there is no peer distraction,” Batra added.
Meanwhile, the concept of online classes has opened several avenues for 3rd grader Samarth Shourya Bora who along with his education is also trying his hands at music and cooking.
“I think online classes are a good experience because I spend more time at home and I get to learn new stuff. I learnt how to skate, I learnt new pieces of piano, I also composed my own pieces. I am also learning how to cook. I also like it because I get to spend time with my parents,” said Samarth.