Of uniforms at home and videos for classes
Perhaps for the first time, parents have started letting go of their smart phones, tablets and laptops willingly for their children for attending online classes.
HYDERABAD : Perhaps for the first time, parents have started letting go of their smart phones, tablets and laptops willingly for their children for attending online classes. While it sounds great to be able to attend to classes on virtual networks such as Google Classroom or Zoom, it has its own share of disadvantages.“My son Lohitakksh Mukherji studies in Pallavi Model School, a co-educational school in Bowenpally. He has recently been promoted to Class IX.
After few days of the lockdown, the school started giving us the necessary instructions in his class Whats App group. Soon he got busy attending these classes every day. When we compare them to our regular classes it has been a pleasant change, as barely two to three classes are being held every day and their duration is lesser than our regular classroom sessions,” says parent Jaideep Mukerjee, a branding and promotions professional in Hyderabad.”
Teachers are using slides and videos as teaching aids to substantiate their lessons. Unlike our regular class of 30 students, there are 170 to 190 students, the combined strength of children of all sections of a class put together are attending this virtual class at a time. The most interesting part is attending these classes wearing the school uniform. Even while at home I become part of the school setup for a certain part of the day,” says Lohitakksh sharing his experiences of these classes. K Mallika Rao, vice-principal, Pallavi Model School says that conducting online classes has helped them to offset the shortfalls in traditional classroom teaching.
Students of St Teresa’s School too are using Zoom and Google Classroom apps to connect to teachers. However, some students say that poor connectivity due to shared networks, thanks to parents with work-from-home responsibilities, is making the online classroom experience rather painful. Says Bro. George of the Abids branch, “We are trying to keep it shorter than 30 minutes and then sending voice and video notes via WhatsApp. These are trying times, but we shall overcome. The traditional Indian student needs more time to get used to the idea of virtual teaching. However, it helps them stay in touch with their studies,” he says.
Most students, however, are not at all thrilled with online classes. Raskhit Rao Bhaskar, a student of St Joseph’s, Koti, says that his teacher lives in a dingy apartment and the poor lighting is making him lose interest in his chemistry class. “Most of my teachers are not tech savvy. The camera is often not in focus and they don’t like to connect over earphones, thus making the voice feeble. I can’t wait to listen to real, live classes in my real classroom,” she says.
Teachers aren’t a happy lot either as they feel they are missing out on instant feedback from students. Says Malathi Karumanchi, a teacher at Bhashyam in Habsiguda, “I find it tough to go back to Zoom chat and answer the questions, especially Math problems. Perhaps language classes are easy, but not maths or science,” she bemoans. But with the lockdown lift not in sight, the schools better equip themselves for a long ‘online’ class haul.