COVID-19 has made many things stand still, offices closed, schools closed, shopping malls closed but there are certain things that have started also, nature has started healing, virtual meets and video conferencing have gained momentum and online classes have started in full swing whether in schools, colleges, private tuition or hobby classes. But it’s always difficult to accept something new so easily, the same happened with online classes. While the teachers who are so used to and trained for classroom teaching over the years are trying their best to adapt to new norms, many parents have grievances that it’s not done in the proper way. We got the privilege to speak to some students, parents and teachers on this issue.
Sidharth Mitra, a student of class VIII, Heritage Xperiential Learning School, Gurgaon says that he is enjoying online classes to the fullest. He added that” It all depends on the seriousness of the student. Previously classes were held for seven hours but now it is reduced to five hours since there was request from some parents that long hours on screen will be harmful for the students”. Siddharth added that he spends ten to twelve hours on screen as he attends hobby classes, plays games online but he is absolutely fine with the new system, and concluded saying that this new system saves travel time too.
File Picture Of Adrisha Acharya.
Adrisha Acharya, student of class IV , Ryan International School Kandivili (E) Mumbai in her opinion clearly stated that she is absolutely comfortable, infact enjoying her online schooling even more than normal classes, she finds studies are less and there are small breaks between classes too. When asked whether she is missing her friends, her answer was no, she enjoys chatting and playing online games with her cousin who stays in UK. With the regular classes and exams in school she hardly manages time to connect with her cousin and so she is happy now. Adrisha’s mother added that since it’s a new session and the students are not having books, at times they are facing problems but at the same time she appreciates the effort taken by the teachers to manage such young children in online classes.
File Picture Of Aditi Ghosh.
File Picture Of Mrs. Meghna Shetty.
Mrs. Meghna Shetty mother of a class IV student of Gundecha Education Academy, Mumbai says that “The school is not having online classes as such but they are sending recordings of the lessons and explanations and giving assignments. Though this process was adopted in consultation with parents, all parents are not satisfied since they have to take much pain in explaining the young ones.” Moreover they find that the fees paid is huge in terms of the services provided by the school. But Meghna herself feels that apart from network issue, direct online classes are preferred since the students will be able to maintain a discipline and things will be systematic. She adds, “Teachers are giving their best possible effort to do their duty. Parents should have some patience as both students and teachers are new to this system.”
When asked about her opinion regarding online classes, Mrs. Aditi Ghosh, mother of a student of Xth standard of Lokhandwala Foundation School, Kandivili (E), Mumbai said, “My son and his classmates were lucky enough because they already had the text books for the new session before the lockdown started. So the online classes in a way became easier. Initially the students were not taking online classes seriously but now they all are quite attentive in class. Infact a student of class X, should by himself take the responsibility of completing the homework and consulting the teacher for clearing of doubts. Due to this pandemic, we all are stressed, so it is much better if the students remain busy and concentrate only on studies by attending online classes in school or tuition, it will help them only for future”.
After the opinion of the students and parents, it was time to take the opinion of teachers on this matter.
File Picture Of Ms. Reena Bhatnagar.
Ms. Reena Bhatnagar teacher in KDB Public School, Ghaziabad, said that online classes are being held in her school in the primary section since 8th of April 2020. First two days were a little difficult for both the teachers and the students because none of them were acquainted with this type of teaching and learning process, moreover it was a new session and students were not known properly to the teachers and the students were not even having books. Neither the students nor teachers were used to using such apps. But within two days all issues were resolved, the teachers have provided the solution of downloading the books that are available online, whoever possible has borrowed books from seniors and teachers are regularly sharing the books on screen. Now online classes are being held for more than a month, both students and teachers have become accustomed with this new mode of learning and teaching. She concluded saying, “We have WhatsApp groups through which students can connect to us, parents do not have any complain. I have a teaching experience of 25 years and as a teacher we need to update and upgrade ourselves always, this is another way, we are happy that we are successful also in this new method of imparting education to our dear students.”
File Picture Of Ms. Ballari Ray.
Ms. Ballari Ray Senior Computing Teacher, Frank Anthony Public School, Kolkata along with sharing her experience has provided some guidelines which might be useful for the teacher fraternity. She said, “I had a varied experience while teaching online from net connectivity problem, absence of a proper writing board, (we teachers were so used to this Chalk and Talk concept), availability of online study material, preparing digital notes as per the syllabus, setting assignments and homework using various online apps and of course following them up frequently. We teachers have taken up a Herculean task and are trying to give our best effort to it.”
She continued, “I would like to take the opportunity to share a few guidelines with my teacher friends and colleagues that I feel will be useful for all:-
1. Keep the classes concise and short.
2. There should be a buffer time in between classes so that students can take a break.
3. Since students cannot see the teachers in person, voice modulation is very important.
4. Asking questions in between will compel the students to be more attentive in class.
5. Lessons should be made as interesting as possible so that you hold the student’s full attention and they never skip a single word.
6. Never address individual student’s problem during online classes, you can deal with them later with individual calls.
She concluded saying, “Last but not the least care should be taken that the students don’t feel bored staring at the computer screen during online classes and deviate from academics”.
Till the schools and colleges reopen, whether the parents, the students or the teachers have to adjust to this new norms. It takes time to adjust with any new system but we find that the young ones can adopt anything new more easily and so is the case with online classes. Teachers are also going beyond their capacities and in fact spending much more time than regular school hours for preparation and clearing doubts of students even after school hours. Parents though appreciate the effort of the teachers, at times have some grievances too which probably only time will heal. At this time of crisis it is not only the doctors, nurses, health workers, police who are working relentlessly it is also the teachers who are continuously in their job of imparting education to the future generation.
Article Written By: Debjani Basu Mullick
Proofread By: Ashmita Chhabria.