For several city schools, which started their new academic year on Monday, the first day was the first of its kind. The pattern in lectures had undergone a sea change and the duration of a school day had been halved.
To avoid connectivity issues and allow students to study at their own convenience, CBSE-affiliated Gopi Birla Memorial School sent links of pre-recorded lectures to all its students — from Pre-Nursery to Class XII — in which teachers taught in classrooms with the help of visuals and blackboards.
Every teacher now has his or her YouTube channel and a library of lessons that is only accessible to the students. While pre-primary students were provied with pre-recorded lectures for two hours, for primary students it was two-and-a-half hours and for three hours for those in classes XI and XII.
“Teachers have been designing their own chapters and we have also been able to cover subjects like physical training, drawing and SUPW (Socially Useful Productive Work) through planned activities,” said Principal Dr Veena Shrivastava, adding that the students have been asked to maintain notebooks for assignments, which will be assessed after the school reopens physically.
Vibgyor High, which runs six schools in Mumbai, introduced its students to a revamped curriculum titled ‘Study from Home’ programme. “This curriculum is based on providing students with hands-on activities and promotes one-to-one teacher-child interaction as well as parent-child interaction. Sports and performing arts have also been included through activities that can be done at home,” said Shim Mathew, Director (Academic Operations).
Due to start online classes on June 8, Mainadevi Bajaj International School is set to teach its students yoga and martial arts as well, said Director Nitin Padte. “Attendance will be marked by teachers based on the number of students who log in. We will contact those who won’t. The students will also be sent links for recorded lectures after online classes get over, in case anyone has missed anything,” he said, adding that this system could be continued at least till September.
After Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday announced opening of state board schools via the online method by June 15, many schools are scrambling to ramp up their infrastructure.
D S High School in Sion, which began the first day of its new academic year on Monday, saw around 50 per cent of its students attending online sessions.
“We have asked people to donate smartphones that can be given to parents who don’t have such gadgets and have so far distributed nearly 100 units. For some, we have even paid for the data packs,” said Principal Rajendra Pradhan.
“For most schools, resources and willingness of teachers is going to be a major challenge. Ours is an unaided school and with funds having been impacted, we’re hoping the government announces grants or some financial assistance to state board schools to help them overcome the digital divide,” Pradhan added.
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