The news of the outbreak of the Novel Corona Virus in China and the dreadful nature of the epidemic was taking the centre stage of media during the later month of January of this year 2020. There was always a concern that this epidemic would spread far and wide and despite all precautions, on 30th January, 2020 the first case of COVID-19 was detected in India. The Government in order to fight against the rapid spread of the deadly virus and to protect the citizens on 24th March, 2020 declared Lockdown 1.0.
In Miles Bronson Residential School (MBRS) we informed parents who were quite cooperative, completed the Annual Exam smoothly and without any interruption of the Academic Calendar the school Academic Session was completed on scheduled date of 21st March, 2020. All Parents and Guardians came to pick-up their children on 21st March, 2020 itself after the examination and all students left for home safe and sound.
With news coming of the rapid spread of COVID-19, the school took all preventive measures. The Founder and Principal, Dr. N. K. Dutta along with the Pastoral & Resident Medical Staff took preventive measures including personally handing over the face mask and advising to start for proper sanitization and hand wash.
Dr. Dutta had an intuition that the epidemic COVID-19 would stay for a long time and he made lots of studies and research to plan for online classes and meanwhile World Health Organization WHO had declared on 11th February, 2020 it COVID-19 as Pandemic which would stay for a long duration. So, Dr. N.K. Dutta planned well ahead to design a programme with teachers to start online programme for the students. Thereafter on 1st April, 2020, in fact MBRS is one of the first schools in this country to start online teaching and started the Pilot Programme from the 1st April, 2020 itself.
The programme in order to train the teachers and bring the students on board was started as a pilot programme which covered general topics based on 21st century skills-creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, communication, life-skills covering both basic and soft skills like leadership skills, language skills, etc. It also covered areas which encourage leaving by doing things like household chores like helping in the kitchen, tiding the bed, dusting the cupboard, gardening, taking care of pets, etc. It also provided Live Lessons on Well Being, Yoga, Meditation, on spot Exercises, Dance, Drama and Music.
The success of the preliminary online pilot project gave impetus to start the curriculum based E-classes from 20th April, 2020. Now this programme is conducted from 9:00 AM to 12:15 PM on every Working Day. On Monday we have we have started a very innovative E-Assembly where the whole school participate. Time to time Web Conferences / Webinars are conducted by the Revered Founder & Principal, Dr. N. K. Dutta. Besides praying and singing, we celebrate important and significant days by organizing online competitions like Essay Writing; Creative Writing; Art competition; Painting competition; Design and Craft, etc., on the basis of 17 Sustainable Goals from Unite Nations Education and Social Council (UNESCO). In addition to curriculum based E-classes the generic classes for Wellbeing, Reading, Hobbies, Helping in Household Chores is conducted in continuum.
In the process we are always continuing with regular Feedback from Students, Parents and Teachers and try to ramp up more and more features so that E-classes programme at MBRS is comprehensive promoting personalized learning thereby setting a benchmark of providing quality online classes to the Bronsonians. The recent initiative is to clearly monitor student’s attendance, progress and timely compliances of homework and assignments. This is followed by Class Tests / Weekly Tests so that they are able to make a Formative Assessment of what has been taught and learnt or not.
In MBRS from its inception, we always strive to provide best and during this period of COVID – 19 Shutdown, we have taken this challenge as an opportunity and continuously taking all steps to ensure that the time spent at home during this confinement is more meaningful and productive.