Schooling After The Pandemic

The year 2020 has been a year of learning

A year of learning that innovation and change are important.

In all walks of life, especially so in education.

Adapt to the new normal is the mantra 

Now there is no going back.

COVID-19 has exacerbated the learning crisis. The closure of schools resulted in two important developments. Firstly, the schools were made to “go home “and secondly the age-old three R’s of education, have been joined by a fourth R and that is Rethink. So it is no longer Reading, Writing and Arithmetic, but also Rethink. The pandemic has helped us to rethink, reimagine the school of the future.

Today, we are at the end of a long dark tunnel and when we come out into the light, we have to reflect deeply on our experiences in online teaching, teaching with technology, and take a sharp turn for the better. What is glaringly clear is that we cannot and must not proceed exactly as before. We need to Reinvent ourselves as teachers and educators.

The schools after the pandemic will be learning hubs, where blended learning will become a reality. Learning will be happening in the classroom with the help of technology. Teachers will be teaching differently, no more lecturing. The process of schooling will move from a  teaching culture to a learning culture.

Teachers will become facilitators of knowledge. The learning will happen not only inside the classrooms but also outside them. Assessments will no longer be restricted to pen & paper. Online assessments, which had become the norm in the times of closure will now be an additional tool for assessing students’ progress. Project-based learning, art integrated learning, preparing videos and PDF’s will all become part of the school culture.

There is another important aspect that needs to be considered when we talk of schooling post-pandemic. This is the challenge that teachers have to face,vis-à-vis, students when they start coming back to school.

Children would certainly need extra support in terms of bridging the gaps in attainment levels as well as in terms of physical and emotional development. As the usual preparation and shifting of students from one grade to another could not be done, the transitioning has been rough and therefore students need to be tackled with great patience and flexibility by the teachers. Due to social distancing, friendships may have become strained, weakened, or deteriorated. So greater tolerance especially in classroom management and student discipline has to be exhibited by the teachers. As children may have been exposed to several issues staying at home, so as they start coming to school, psychological & emotional problems are sure to be numerous. So listening to them, guiding them showing empathy and real concern will be the need of the hour. Teachers need to undergo training on how to handle these challenges.

So schooling after the Pandemic, is a challenge and educationists need to have measures in place to tackle these challenges. Yet another learning to be done by all of us. 

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