How to cope up with the changes in Schooling/Learning?
Author: Amey Parulekar,Business Development Head, Financepeer
Not too long ago Mumbai, the industrial capital of the county, was dressed in a kaleidoscopic hue dominated by Pink. The burning of the Holi pyre was to signify the end of the winter and to welcome the onset of summers. While the country was celebrating with gajaks and thandais an evil force grabbed the opportunity to spread its evil tentacles across nation making the financial capital its hub spot.
Fast forward to July 2020, 120 Days never seemed this long. The roads packed to the brim now have a eerie looks of a deserted ghost town, malls gathering dust and mold and schools are now waiting for the children to rush in when the doors open. Schools unlike most of the places are known to be some of the happiest places on the earth. The sound of teachers training the young minds and the little children reciting with minds like sponges, absorbing everything they possibly can often punctuated with laughter and giggles alike.
With the reopening of schools not in sight for another month or more we need to emphasize that schools are not only important for education of a child but they also teach a child social skills, communication and etiquettes. Now most schools have incorporated ways to bring the schools to a child’s house with varying degrees of success. We have seen smaller education startups take up the onus and help schools with products which take personalized learning, live teaching, LMS, extra-curricular activities etc. with very attractive pricings that can help a child continue on their hunger for education and acquiring social skills. We too came up with Financepeer Ed with which schools can uses the LMS, Curriculum based personalized learning for free until 2021. But at a more holistic scale schools do indeed face an uphill task.
So far the school has been entrusted to help teach the students but current situations withstanding, technology will play a major role in the way teaching is conducted, this in turn means that the teachers need to be trained first. This process of training the teachers is expected to no only help bring the schools to a child’s home but also add to the skill of the teachers. It’s about time schools too read the writing on the wall, technology and schools will go hand in hand and the first movers will have an advantage. A lot of schools are also skeptical about the time that will be put in for training of the faculty and teachers alike since most of the teachers had never even heard of these solutions let alone used them.
Now having spoken to schools which have started using software’s from April, I am happy to confirm that the time spent of teaching the teachers is indeed well spent. The technology is now helping save time of these teachers and has reduced the burden of tasks like setting the exam papers, evaluating the bundles of papers (with the notorious red ink) and of course printing and handing our reports en-masse.
There is a paradigm shift in the way teachers are looking at technology wherein the tech is there to support the traditional teaching method and not replace them which was the fear engrained in most.
A lot of products like Financepeer ED has gamified learning platforms which are instrumental in a child wanting to learn rather than being compelled to learn.
Now talking about how schools will reopen and the cost that comes with it, cost not just bearing on a monetary element but also on a psychological one.
Social distancing, sanitization and hygiene will be a paramount especially for schools and boarders. Classes are expected to run at half the capacity to maintain distancing but will probably run for a longer duration of the day. Some schools suggest that the timings and batches will go on from 7am till 7pm in the evening. Sanitizer will be available in all classrooms along with masks and gloves which is a significant factor is draining the cash reserves of the schools.
Which takes me to the final point. The last 120 days have been difficult to the parents due to work from home, salary stress, job loss etc. But little do we understand that similar challenges are also face by our children.
The fact that they cannot go the playpark, they haven’t met their friends since months and all that energy is pent up in their little frame without an outlet can cause issues to a child’s psychology. In these unprecedented times it is extremely important for the schools to have a counsellor to help speak to a child and help them cope with the stress they may be going through.
Children who were expected to fly out of the country need to be counselled and explained that their hopes and dreams of attaining education at some of the world’s finest education center’s may have been postponed by some time but it’s not lost. As they say the night is the darkest before dawn and 2021 will bring sunshine back into our lives. Schools will be filled with chatter and laughter thus completing our Yearn to Learn.