There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the education sector into a frenzy when the authorities had to shut down schools at very short notice and people were instructed to stay indoors. A lot was expected from everyone. Nearly 6 months on, situations are no better as schools are still shut, and even when a possibility of reopening is shinning on the horizon, confidence is not back as the health risks have not passed. The boarding schools in Delhi NCR adopted quickly. Remote online classes were initiated where students could log in from their homes and learn from their teachers. And although the concept has bifurcated the world into two fragments and experts are debating the effectiveness of remote learning, in the real world, it has done some good to a decent number of students.
First, the focus shifted just to education
Prohibitions on public gatherings also meant that students could no longer pursue sports, attend music classes, give time to dance lessons or learn drama. This freed up time in students’ daily schedules. With no extra-curricular activities to currently focus on, more time was now available for academics. Hence, students who were previously overwhelmed by their schedules started performing. More students completed their assignments and paid attention to online classes. Surveys are showing that the extra time is actually benefitting the students to catch up on their education. Although extra-curricular activities are necessary, the temporary shift in focus is bringing academics back on its track.
Second, no traveling means more rest
If the school starts at 8:00 in the morning, then a student has to typically get up at 6:30. And given the current lifestyles of modern families, pediatricians were becoming increasingly concerned about the number of sleep children were getting. Remote learning adds the traveling time into the day’s net account. With online classes starting much later than the standard time, alarms at houses are not going off early in the morning. This flexibility from schools is giving students their much-needed rest. Quality sleep is increasing their attention span and students are being able to concentrate on education better.
Third, remote learning has reduced the pace of education
And this is not necessarily a bad thing. As classes went remote, schools have had to reduce the volume of their curriculum to allow space for all to adapt. This slow progress has helped the performing students to take a breather from their ambitions and the struggling students to manage time to close their knowledge loopholes. The day boarding school in Delhi NCR also took this opportunity to amp up their remedial lessons as time was available to give more attention. Before COVID-19 hit, schools and their students were naturally motoring to keep up with the demands of the 21st-century. For the last few months, things have slowed down on the academic front and the trend is genuinely helping the students.
Fourth, an opportunity to learn from a different space
Another welcome change that many students embraced with open hands, and the effects were visible in their improved performance, was the change of ambiance that remote learning brought along. Students were no longer seeing the familiar faces in the familiar setting of schools. Now, they were logging in from their study rooms or living rooms which helped to break the building monotony. Online classes are a totally different experience for school students. Blackboards were now substituted with PowerPoint presentations. These new involvements deepened engagement and thus benefitted education.
Finally, more accountability for one’s education
Online classes mean that students are now away from the direct supervision of their schools and teachers. This, according to many, is a serious drawback. But from another perspective, the absence of micromanagement has actually empowered the students to take up more responsibility regarding their own education. The top boarding school in Delhi NCR was already creating independent learners. The current situation is putting the lessons to test where students are indeed showing more accountability. Self-discipline has improved. Seriousness has increased. Being away from a watchful eye has helped students to become their masters on grounds of education.
Despite these benefits, remote learning cannot be a permanent solution. Schools need to open and students need to come back. But until the virus is raging, it is pointless to lose hope and simply state that online classes are helping no one. Swarnprastha Public School has designed its online lessons to be engaging and insightful so that there is no gap in students’ education. SPS is also noticing the above benefits among its learners which it is looking at as an opportunity to refresh the young minds. The school is ready for normal classes to resume. But until then, SPS is making the best use of the available situation and teaching its students to do the same as well.