EDUCATION DURING COVID 19 – OF COURSE … ALWAYS BY VARSHA LIMAYE SECONDARY SCHOOL SUPERVISOR

“e-Learning shouldn’t be a casual joy ride on a Sunday afternoon with the cruise control engaged. The sole purpose of eLearning is to teach”. Christopher Palm

The world currently finds itself in a situation never seen or experienced before. With every passing day throwing up new challenges, unwittingly we find ourselves on the cusp of a paradigm shift vis a vis the imparting of education. While nobody argues against the fact that education cannot be stopped, yet the need to keep the students safe has resulted in an unforeseen closure of school buildings. The education continues via online classes. Undoubtedly, 2020 will go down in history as the year of the pandemic which ravaged the education systems, closed schools across the continents and kept an estimated 90% of enrolled learners out of the school buildings. Yet fortunately imparting education has not stopped. The electronic devices that the teachers and parents found very addictive for children have emerged as the saviors. The best take has been the one that is doing the rounds on the social media to the effect that the schools did not want the mobile in the school – now the school is in the mobile.

The situation has emerged as the biggest leveler across all stakeholders in education. The students are the most informed about the ways to use the various apps and seem to have information about the latest app launch even before the actual launch. This has very pleasantly brought to the fore the need for imparting versatility to the course – both content wise and delivery wise.

The teachers although using technology before the pandemic have begun to understand the actual dimensions of the availability – one better and more advanced than the previous. To the credit of the teachers, they have unhesitatingly embraced this technology that they were previously wary about. This situation has been instrumental in awakening the students in all of us. All of us are now members of the group that says that one must never stop being a student. In reality now every stakeholder is not just a student but one more enthusiastic than the other. Be it all the G Suite apps, attachments to then, the much neglected drive, the live delivery of lessons, feed-backing on the students work using technology, coordinating online activities, assigning collaborative projects … you name it and the teachers are on it. We were thrown in at the deep end and very pleasantly we are not just swimming but doing it gloriously … with each day gaining in confidence and fine tuning the skills.

It is said that every adversity offers an opportunity – teachers have proved that they are best suited to not just adapt but also to create new learning opportunities for the students and help them excel. It is also said that every dark cloud has a silver lining. The enthusiastic attitude of the teachers is the silver lining to the dark cloud which is the Covid 19. We are not just staring it in the eye but also happily succeeding in our mission.

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