Miss face-to-face discussions with teachers: Aria Puri
Puri, a student of Amity International School, Saket, has been confined to her apartment in Faridabad’s Kenwood Towers society since March 16, when the Delhi government announced the closure of schools to arrest the spread of the coronavirus disease in the national Capital, where 12910 persons have been infected till date.Updated: May 24, 2020 00:29 IST
New Delhi: When 13-year-old Aria Puri received a Macbook Air from her parents on her birthday last year, little did she imagine that she would be attending her first day of Class 9 on her laptop.
Puri, a student of Amity International School, Saket, has been confined to her apartment in Faridabad’s Kenwood Towerssociety since March 16, when the Delhi government announced the closure of schools to arrest the spread of the coronavirus disease in the national Capital, where 12910 persons have been infected till date.
The new academic year for Puri began on March 23 with online classes. Since then, her schedule has changed.
“I like to prepare for my classes. I wake up at around 7 am and go for a jog before they begin. People have been criticizing online education saying that the children are on their laptops all day. But I don’t spend more than five hours on an average on it,” says Puri. Classes begin at 9am and end at 1 pm. She attends coaching classes, which have also shifted online, between 5pm and 7pm.She’s studying to give her Joint Entrance Examinations three years later and on Sundays, her classes are seven and a half hours long.
The first day classes shifted to the Microsoft Teams videoconferencing app, Puri faced a tough time figuring out the sound and camera, how to mute herself and ask questions through the chat box. Since then, lessons have been smooth, made easier by the bar graphs, diagrams, and videos that teachers have incorporated. “But we don’t have our friends sitting beside us,” she says.
If there is one thing she misses about school, it is the daily classes of karate. Her martial art lessons have been suspended for almost two months now. “I miss face to face discussions with my teachers as that makes me connect with them better and even chatting with my friends in person. But most of all, I miss my karate sessions in school. Online classes cannot be a substitute for it,” she says.
“During this lockdown, I have taken a special interest in baking,” says the teenager, who wants to pursue Physics and Mathematics in future. Till now, she has made a chocolate banana cake, a walnut cake, and some apple cinnamon muffins with some help from her grandmother and YouTube tutorials.
“While Covid-19 has had an impact on the economy and the lives of people, I feel it has also given us the time to slow down in life and spend quality time with our family. It has given nature the chance to breathe, rejuvenate and flourish,” she says.
But niggling concerns about the infection crowd her mind. “My grandparents and a younger cousin live in the same building. They are most vulnerable to this infection,” she says. The family has remained closed knit through lockdown, and Puri spends her non-school hours chatting with parents, her younger sister, and other relatives.
In addition to sleepovers, movies, and eating out with friends, resuming her karate lessons is on top of her list of things to do once the Covid-19 restrictions are lifted. “My best friend also loves karate. So we have planned to meet at her place whenever it is safe and have a joint session,” she says excitedly.