Mumbai: Schools face difficulties, witness new innovations

In the one year since the lockdown that was necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic, schools of different boards said they have faced difficulties as well as seen some new innovations. Private-board schools said the road ahead will include a blended approach of online and offline teaching-learning while, state board schools said the main focus will still remain on bouncing back to offline classroom education with vaccinated staff and safety measures.

Schools irrespective of their board shut down offline classes on March 16, 2020 and have remained shut offline till date in Mumbai. All lectures, teaching-learning pedagogies, examination and assessment shifted to online mode since then to avoid the spread of Covid-19 infection.

After a year now, private-board schools said online mode of education has led to several innovations for the future of education. Madhu Singh, principal of Billabong High International School, Malad, said, "Our teachers and students have equipped themselves with new digital applications and tools to streamline online education. The pandemic has equipped us to understand that we can work remotely and avoid the ordeal of commute, traffic congestion and crowding."

On other hand, Khalid Shaikh, a senior teacher of a state board school said, "Though we have shut offline classes, our students and teachers are missing out on individual attention and practical learning. Sports, extracurricular activities, field work and cultural programmes have faced a huge hit in this one year where we are waiting to bounce back to offline classes."

Mahesh Palkar, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) education officer said, "As per directions of BMC, all schools in Mumbai have been directed to remain shut offline until further notice. Principals, teachers and school staff are advised to work remotely via online mode as Covid-19 cases are rising in Mumbai."

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