Representative Image: Children are seen going to school somewhere in Peren district. With the sudden announcement of lockdown without much preparation, educators in Nagaland are expressing apprehension that the closure of schools will impact the essence of learning for many children. (Morung File Photo)
Morung Express News
Kohima | April 5
With the sudden announcement of the state and national lockdown, schools in Nagaland were closed down without much preparation to cover for the lost time.
While few schools are using digital platforms to reach out to students, educators are also expressing apprehension that the closure of schools will impact the essence of learning for many children.
Many parents too are struggling to monitor their children in finding alternative ways to learning.
Precious time lost
"The lockdown happened suddenly and also classes were just starting off for most with exception of senior classes. So hopefully once things get normal and schools reopen both students/teachers will be able to catch up fast," opined Thejavino Moa, Administrator of Stella Higher Secondary School (SHSS).
"On one side we are all locked down for the fear of this virus, hoping that no one gets infected and fearing for the loss of lives. While on the other side, we fear the future of our children," added an educator based in Kohima.
With the lockdown announced just when the academic session for schools under the Nagaland Board of School Education (NBSE) started, the educator noted that the time lost in the past three weeks is very precious time.
"It is impacting the education of our children but no one can be blamed for that. We are all clueless as to how things are going to turn out in the coming days. If this continues for some more days we are going to be losing a lot of things. Even if the lockdown comes to end and we resume it is going to take some time for us to come to terms to get settled," stated the educator.
Reliability of e-learning
While few schools and teachers are reaching to their students via WhatsApp and Zoom app where notes are being given and doubts cleared to some extent, many worry that the real essence of learning do not take place in a virtual platform.
"There are things that really need to be taught. There is the teaching- learning aspect especially for subjects like science and mathematics. Unless you have a face to face interaction, things may not materialise that much," the educator expressed.
Many educators are also encouraging the parents to help students make use of e-learning materials at home while also monitoring children closely so that they do not misuse the opportunity.
For CBSE schools, the lockdown came right during the session endbreak with students currently on holidays. Yet, educators have expressed apprehension especially for Higher Secondary classes which were supposed to start.
"The teaching time is very less because the course is vast and there are so many activities to be conducted. The teaching time is really lost. It's a huge impact on the students and schools," maintained Kevino Savino, Dean, Student's Affairs at G. Rio School Kohima, which is affiliated to the Central Board of School Education (CBSE).
"Once classes resumes, teachers will also have to rush things. Learning may not take place when you rush things. We need a lot more time for teaching to take place in a manner that learning takes place," affirmed Savino informing that arrangements are being prepared for online classes in any eventuality of an extension of the lockdown.
‘Through the school’s website, online classes and offline classes are being held. But in case the lockdown is prolonged, we are sending notifications to parents and we will have to start our online classes, she added.
It may be noted that the Government of Nagaland had issued a notification encouraging schools on the usage of e-learning by students and teachers during the closure of schools by using online apps/tutorials, discussion/learning through effective use of social media such as WhatsApp. Further, measures will be taken to compensate for the lost time by declaring Saturdays as working days, and reducing summer and winter holidays which will be notified in due course of time.
"In this time of crisis parents should keep their children happy and not let them worry about their lessons," viewed Thejavino, expressing the resonating concerns of educators in Nagaland that the mental health of the children is also equally essential as one's academic skill.
In the current juncture of paranoia over the COVID 19 outbreak, she expressed optimism. "Every child has their own way of learning and doing things. I am sure some students will be maintaining their study hour. And on the other hand, kids are also learning about the reality of life: The importance of being alive and staying healthy!" remarked the Administrator.