Children are quick learners

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The academic year has come to an end. The tough times of the Covid19 pandemic are about to end too as we see some relaxations in the restrictions, the educators are now hoping that children will get back to the golden old days but with a changed atmosphere. Pune Pulse spoke to a few principals to know their views on the topics.

Dr Farah Rais, CEO, RIMS International School Undri and Boston World School, Undri said, “Pandemic has caused lot of gaps in our learners and to ensure that the transition is smooth from online to offline, we have eased students gradually by calling them in batches and for Remedials etc. That way they get used to the old schedule and are not burdened by sudden reopening of physical schools.”

Rais further added, “Another factor that has really helped us is that we had replicated the offline school in the online mode and hence students were used to the long hours and back to back classes with two breaks, so our children did not get out of the structured education and hence not much alignment is needed.”

Nirmal Waddan, Principal, The Kalyani School, Manjari said “the schools have not reopened all of a sudden after the long period of lock-down. The process has been gradual, so that the students did not feel the transition shocking. Grades VII to XII began first with only a few classes happening every day. Hybrid classes are still happening for the junior classes, though we have stopped that for senior students, who have been asked to come to school regularly. Just to be in school and interact with their friends and teachers, make them feel safe and normal again. And teachers have also noticed that responses to their teaching is much better than the pre- pandemic days. The Board batches especially have a lot to be thankful for. I would definitely say that I am thankful that we were able to open the school to our children at this point of time, because the kind of support our teachers are being able to give them now, would not have been possible otherwise,”.

Ishrat Auti, Director, Pearldrop High School on how the children felt about the school reopening said, “Children have diverse needs and different ways of coping with stressful situations. School teachers and personnel are critical in supporting the children’s transition back to in-person classroom teaching. Teachers will be using different skills to ensure their students learning and emotional well-being while schools were closed. Before teaching new academic content the schools should take time to check how children are doing as they may need some time to get back into the routine of learning. We will welcome the children to decorated classrooms and welcoming messages. We need to praise children for their efforts and contribution. Basically, their has to be lots of interaction with the children and efforts have to be taken to make the classes lively and interesting for the children to be glued in.”

HOW SCHOOLS TACKLED THE CHANGES IN SCHOOL CHILDREN ?
When asked about whether the schools observed any behavioural change among pre primary children and how was it resolved, Farah added, “At both our school i.e Cambridge and CBSE, we were able to replicate the offline timetable in online mode as well and hence due to excellent bonding with the teachers, students were comfortable and were glued to the screens interacting with teachers and peers. Also, we conducted lot of experiential and interactive activities for all age groups of students so that these gaps thankfully were negligible at our school.”

Nirmal Waddan added, “The Primary and Pre-Primary children are too small to have understood the impact of the lock-down. For them it was a kind of an extended holiday, where they were able to enjoy every day with their parents close at hand. To come back to school regime has been a little difficult indeed. But then, children are always attracted towards their peers more than their parents, so they are slowly getting adjusted to school life again. It is due to their diligence in making appropriate Lesson Plans and adopting interesting Methodologies that the children do not feel daunted to get back to school.

In the end I would just like to add that, life is nothing if not unpredictable. It is the children, who teach us how to cope.”

Speaking about how children responded to the school reopening and what changes did the school noticed, Ishrat added, “The covid 19 pandemic has interrupted the education of children worldwide. Teachers say that 5% – 10% children have become overweight, complaints of eye problems and lack of concentration have increased. Children are showing symptoms of hyperactivity and sensory issues. World over kids are showing these effects of a pandemic life. We are trying our best by introducing lots of interesting activities for the children to help them get back to the school routine and overcome the physical and mental issues caused due to covid 19. Parents can help the child revise the previous work and keep them in touch with the habit of reading books and writing. Slowly they need to move the children away from the electronic gadgets and prepare them for the regular school routine.”

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