The pandemic has thrown every planning into a state of disarray

The pandemic has thrown every planning into a state of disarray

Teachers are struggling their level best to carry on their duty and adopting new methods to cope with this; opines Mr Amit Bhadana, Pro-Vice Chairman, Blue Angels Global School, Faridabad

The ongoing pandemic has shifted the traditional classrooms to rectangular screens. All of us are digitally connected now, wherein the classroom protocols can easily be averted. What is the better medium according to you, the digital one or the traditional one we have had for so many years?

As you have rightly pointed out, there has been a paradigm shift from the traditional classrooms to rectangular screens. It is true that while virtual classrooms have its own merits, there is a lacuna as far as discipline is concerned. A lot depends on the intrinsic environment at home and the discipline instilled therein. Conventionally, the classroom has advantages as the child is exposed to a multitudinal experience which moulds him emotionally, socially, culturally and psychologically. Daily interaction with other students, healthy sense of competition, bonding among students are just a few things which work towards  building a holistic personality. Further the physical presence of a teacher goes a long way towards rooting and connecting a child emotionally.

At present online teaching is still in its nascent stage and has to develop the rules and regulations, for its  proper functioning; whereas the classroom teaching has been effective at various levels, from teacher-student interactions, monitoring to assessing,  etc. So, for me at present, the traditional classroom is definitely a better mode for teaching vis-a-vis the online one.

Socialization and building manners and ethics are few vital steps that students learn in school. Can a virtual platform teach them the same ethics and social etiquettes?

The portals of the school are spaces of active learning and conditioning. The school prides itself in instilling values right from the primary level which becomes an organic part of the student. Thus, the behavioural patterns of discipline, body language and certain etiquettes are absorbed by the child as a part of the culture. These values can be bolstered by support from the parents. However, in the absence of the structured system, the development depends on individual effort which may be random. With all the constraints of online teaching, imparting ethics and social etiquette might be a challenge.. While virtual platforms might strive to impart basic manners, etiquettes can truly fructify in an active school scenario.

Our educators are under huge stress since the beginning of the pandemic; from coping with internet connections and erratic power supply to more structural issues like curriculum designing and teaching techniques. What is the feedback of Blue Angel’s teachers? Did you arrange any special training for them?

The pandemic has taken a great toll on the society in general and teachers in particular. Teachers are working harder than ever to keep connected with students and impart knowledge with the best of their ability in these stressful times. It is indeed an onerous task. Since lockdown they have been battling with new teaching techniques and sudden exposure to different portals and technologies.

Our teachers have been working very hard towards integrating and implementing the new technological changes. They have been conscientiously discharging their duties and adopting new methods in order to cope with the pandemic situation. Though initially there were a few glitches, constant training and up-gradation  helped them channelize the processes better.

Yes, trainings are continuously being organized for them by our principal, Dr. Sharda Muni. These include special training in operating software programs, conducting online tests, learning through Diksha portal and other capacity building programs conducted by CBSE. All these steps have worked toward streamlining online teaching.

In this new kind of one-way teaching how are they managing and monitoring student’s active involvement?

In the present scenario, the challenge is pronounced due to the physical absence of a teacher. Teachers, therefore, enlist the help of other stakeholders i.e. parents for the younger students. For senior children, giving a chance and allowing them to take center stage in a secure environment and with relevant positive strokes, teachers help the children to participate. The children are also goaded to instill a sense of competition among themselves.

Many edutech companies are mushrooming in education sector. All of them are claiming better learning outcomes. Are you using any such platforms? If yes, why do you think they are better than others?

Technology has become integral part of teaching. It helps the child to better understand complexities and concepts through visual graphics, flowcharts, multitude assignments, different learning and teaching tools, communication tools, videos, all of which greatly enhance teaching. Our school too has subscribed to one such company to partner teaching. The students and the teachers also have plethora of resource pool at their disposal for a deeper conceptual understanding.

What is the future you want for your school?

The school’s motto We Care, We Nurture, We Create encompasses my vision. I truly believe that the future lies in tomorrow’s generation and our school is working wholeheartedly to create a right environment for the holistic growth of children. The students of Blue Angels should be sensitive, capable and articulate citizens with the strong sense of values. The school should be heartbeat of activities alive with challenges, failures and successes, towards which we are actively working.

What are the key challenges that you go through as a leader and how do you overcome it?

As a leader, I have strived to keep myself involved in every aspect of school administration. In the initial years of setting up the school, the bureaucratic paper work, getting permissions, certifications and later affiliation along with the various associated  hurdles were a challenge. However, meticulous planning and team work with the focus towards achieving the goal  helped us to overcome these. 

At no time had we been tested as we are being tested now. The pandemic has thrown every planning into a state of disarray. As part of the management we face the impact of the changing times the most. Once again it is with focus, planning and team work that we overcome all such challenges, whether now or in future.

Any message that you would like to share with the book publishers or independent App providers?

The present scenario is an unprecedented one. We need to channelize our internal energies to keep everybody enthused and motivated. Also eschew negativity and embrace its contradictions.

Trailblazer needs to share stories of courage and determination which will instill hope and faith in human heart. We need to believe and keep the faith alive.