In a rather prescient move, the government of Delhi shut down primary schools on March 6, much before lockdown was implemented. Secondary schools soon followed and remain shut to this day. It was a smart move to fight the spread of coronavirus, but came with its own shortcomings.
Most schools assumed this would be a temporary measure, and didn’t bother working on their technology systems to ready them for virtual lessons. Now these schools are scrambling to run home-schooling successfully.
There are many logistical problems they have had to face, including:
- Teachers are not technologically savvy, and don’t have access to computers of their own
- Issues related to internet and wifi because group meeting apps like Zoom or Microsoft Teams, require high-speed internet connections
- The lack of planned curriculum that can be taught online, as opposed to the existing curriculum made for real classrooms
- The cancellation of year-end exams, and students being assessed on their performance through the past year (which is perhaps a good thing!)
- Dwindling supplies of paper, stationary, paints and other material at home due to closure of markets
- Dissatisfied parents angling for reduction of school fees
My son’s school has been ahead of the game at every juncture, and till quite recently, I was unaware of these issues plaguing other schools. We had started online lessons from the first day of lockdown. The teachers were present in school, throughout the first week, while the students stayed home. This allowed them to formulate curricula and collect necessary materials, in the eventuality of working from home. The school’s active Technology Department tirelessly navigated the teething problems parents and teachers faced in adjusting to this new process. Examinations were cancelled following instructions of the international Cambridge board, which our school follows.
I’m very thankful for our school’s proactive approach and their concern for the welfare of their students and larger community. In addition to the daily lessons and assigned homework, the school sends out online resources for parents as well– fitness sessions conducted by an alumnus of the school, cheerful music and the like. Most of all, I’m grateful that parents don’t have to rack their brains to figure out the age-appropriate curriculum for their children!
With such a hands-on approach, I understand why our school can’t waive or reduce the term fee. But my friends, whose children study in other schools, are decidedly concerned. When the school’s idea of home-teaching is limited to emailing worksheets, perhaps the expensive fee isn’t justified? But then the fee is required for teacher’s salaries as well as to keep the infrastructure of the school running. So, I’m reserving judgment on this situation for now!
Home-schooling isn’t all hunky-dory though, even if well-planned. The kids enjoy attending classes in the comfort of their homes, wearing pyjamas, but parents have to make additional time to attend and supervise the lessons, along with their daily chores and work responsibilities. In homes with more than one child, there need to be separate devices and separate assigned areas for each child, which makes everything harder.
The children may be happy, but the parents are quite harried trying to keep up with everything!
So, here’s a tip for parents reading this post:
Keep the kids busy with art and craft projects made with junk around the house. Discarded toy boxes, empty toiletries, old greeting cards, newspapers etc. can all be re-imagined to make something new. Don’t look for instruction videos online. Let your imagination guide you and you’ll be surprised at the results!
My TV show recommendation for today will make you and your children happy:
“Happy Days” is a sitcom that captures America in the 1950s through its endearing characters and funny stories. My brother and I watched it every afternoon on TV, when we returned home from school, which makes this show quite special for me. Perhaps you’ve seen it too as a 90s kid in India? Now you can re-watch most of the episodes on Youtube.
A book series that was instrumental in my growth, is:
The “Harry Potter” series, which probably shaped many children and inspired many writers. Though each book in the series is dear to me, my personal favourite is “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”. I read each book as and when it released, and this one came out when I was around 14/15 years of age, corresponding to Harry’s age in the book, which allowed me to live the story with him and his friends on a personal level.
That’s all for today, folks!
Do check out my daily update videos on Instagram Stories for #LockdownWithTheLadyLawyer and follow me there to stay better connected. Also tell me your favourite TV Shows/ movies/ books/ bloggers with the letter H?
Hasta la vista till tomorrow!
This post has been written for the #AtoZChallenge 2020. My theme this year is #LockdownWithTheLadyLawyer, where I’m journaling my thoughts during the coronavirus lockdown, and sharing numerous recommendations that will help keep your spirits up.
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