NEW DELHI – The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a disruption in education that has all the features of a complex crisis on a global scale. The future is unclear with many variables and numerous possible solutions that are debatable. Add to all this, the unpredictable and irrational patterns emerging globally.
FairGaze, the largest school media and engagement ecosystem for school community in India, conducted a survey in which 89% agreed that the schools need to change the way curriculum is taught and 47% agreed that school teachers should start using online education portals instead of course books.
The survey commissioned in January 2020 focused on the school community including the school, students, parents, authorities and other education industry stakeholders.
Interestingly, an overwhelming 58% do not agree that online education portals will replace schools and 55% feel that online education portals do not teach better than school teachers. However, over 45% agree that online content will replace course books in schools.
Major Harsh Kumar, Secretary, NCERT said, “At the outset online education portals cannot replace schools. However, at this time of crisis we need to evolve innovative methods of learning and online education portals are the answers. This pandemic has compelled us to implement a mixed method of teaching. This will certainly enhance the roles of organisations like FairGaze.”
Anurag Tripathi, Secretary, CBSE, in a recent communication said that most schools have started online classes and advised students to start their day with light physical exercises, meditation and yoga in addition to contributing with household chores.
Robert Jenkins, Global Chief of Education, UNICEF, shared that the students who stayed away from schools were less likely to ever return as per the data collected during the Ebola outbreak in 2014. She also added that UNICEF will ensure access to remote learning programmes through online, radio and television.
Dr Rakesh Bhardwaj, Additional Director sent a communication to schools with a list of apps and websites to source learning material provided by Ministry of Human Resource Development.
The fast paced developments and fluid evolving situation are leading new directives. A case in example is the order by R Meenakshi Sundaram, Education Secretary, Uttarakhand, directing all government and private schools to stop collecting fees until the situation normalises. Gujarat state School Management Federation, with over 3,700 schools as members, are looking at returning two months fees to the parents.
In another survey, parents have voiced their fear of sending their children to school even after the lockdown is lifted considering the vulnerability and susceptibility of young children to Covid-19 pandemic.
Ranju R Pillai, Chief Relationship Officer at FairGaze said, “The Covid-19 pandemic has forced the school fraternity to reinvent the education delivery to children in very innovative ways including use of technologies and adoption of online course curriculum.”
The Covid pandemic has catalysed the schools and educators to adopt new ways to teach children and that far too quickly than anyone could ever imagine. And surprisingly, FairGaze finds that the school community, is rising very well to the challenge.
FairGaze engages with over 350,000 students from over 1,300 schools across India. FairGaze works with schools to help manage their newsletter, promote the sports and cultural functions of the schools and recognise the achievements of the students.
(Content generated from press release received from FairGaze)