Teachers reconnect with students as Delhi schools resume online classes after summer break
Several private schools in the national capital opened on Thursday, after the summer break ended on Wednesday, with principals and teachers focusing on reconnecting with students and making them comfortable instead of starting full-fledged classes and piling them with class works and homeworks.
Several schools, including The Indian School, Ahlcon International School, Bluebells School International, Amity International School in Saket, Mount Abu Public School, Modern Public School in Shalimar Bagh, and Tagore International School reopened on Thursday with teachers “going slow” with the academic and helping students settle into the classes.
In April, the Delhi government ordered public and private schools in the Capital to close for the summer vacation three weeks earlier than planned amid a crippling surge in Covid-19 cases from April 20 to June 9, suspending all online classes except for activity lessons and extra classes for senior students.
On Thursday, several students said they were relieved to join classes. Anush Malik (13) a Class 9 student at the Indian School, said interacting with his peers and teachers made him feel good. “It felt good to attend classes after so many days because there wasn’t much to do during the break as we could not travel due to the pandemic. The classes keep us occupied. Since it was the first day, teachers asked about our experiences during the pandemic before moving on to the lessons. We did not even get a lot of homework, only activity and a few questions.”
Principal Tania Joshi explained the reason behind the less workload. “We have asked our teachers to go slow with the academics and focus on bonding with the children who have been through challenging times like us, without focusing too much on the negative aspects of the pandemic. Children across all classes observed two minutes of silence in the first period to remember those who we lost and pray for those unwell. During our interaction, students shared what they did during the vacation like making cards for elders or praying in their homes,” she said.
Ashok Pandey, director of Ahlcon Group of Schools, has also asked his teachers to do the same. “The whole idea is not to jump into academics straight away but meeting with students virtually and compensate for the isolation of the children. For learning, the first and foremost condition is readiness. Time has to be given to children to get comfortable. Some of our children are very depressed but by and large, when children come together in a class, it makes a lot of difference to their psychology,” he said.
Teachers in junior classes said they focused on experiential learning to engage younger children in the coming days. Gurpreet Kaur, the junior school coordinator at Mount Abu Public School, said they organised a welcome activity for students from pre-school and pre-primary classes on Thursday. “We had one-on-one sessions with each child to talk to them and build on their communication skills. As far as pandemic is concerned, we do story-telling sessions and dramatization, focusing on the health and hygiene of students like using masks and sanitisers. We don’t want to stress the children as they are too young,” she said.