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St. Joseph's Academy Dehradun, during crisis and lockdown

George Bernard Shaw said, “Progress is impossible without change and those who cannot change their minds, cannot change anything.” I believe the outbreak of the Corona pandemic has hammered home the truth of this statement in more ways than one. As the entire world came to a grinding halt on 13th March 2020, the educationists leapt ahead and took their lead in imparting education to the children in whatever manner possible. It took us a week to realise that the situation would spiral out of control and this set the wheels of the school administration into motion.

        To make sure that students, right from UKG to class XII, remain connected to their studies, project and homework assignments were mailed to them within ten days. With the Zoom App downloaded and the teacher training successfully completed, the first online class commenced on the 4th of April, 2020, initially for the senior classes. I admit there were minor hiccoughs and technical glitches in the beginning, but once the creases were ironed out, we ensured that all the students were actively learning via their online lessons.  

        A student zone was set up for classes UKG to V , where activities, poems and paintings were uploaded on the school website to hone the creative and innovative skills of the junior Josephites. Online orientation for class IX, the newbies into senior school, was an effective way of getting in touch with the parents and children, making them aware of the commitment the school expected out of them. Within no time, each and every class was successfully added to online teaching.

         At the same time, we were aware that classes X and XII were precariously hanging by a thin thread, as a few of their board exams had been postponed. It thus became our prime responsibility to ensure that they were well prepared for the rest of the exams ,and keeping this in mind, special revision classes were started for them.

         As the euphoria of a long, unpredicted vacation wears off, frustration sets in among the children, and as a counter measure, activity classes such as Art, Music and Dance have also found a place in the online curriculum. A healthy mind can only exist in a healthy body and to that effect, Yoga and Physical Education classes have been introduced in middle school.

         Dinkrit Sethi, an ex- Josephite , has come forward to lend a helping hand, by conducting Holistic Health sessions for the students ; not to forget the regular counselling sessions that have been immensely beneficial to one and all.

       As I conclude, I would like to express my gratitude to the co-ordinators, the teaching and non-teaching faculty and the ones who have been working behind the scenes, for their never-say-no attitude and effectively contributing to this new, changed version of virtual teaching. Alan Watts said, “ The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it and join the dance.” Believe it or not, the Josephites decide to do the Tango till we get back to normalcy.

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