The COVID 19 pandemic has been a social, cultural and economic disruption to describe it at best. While disruptions in the human society are nothing new, neither are disease outbreaks, the pandemic has however raised many new issues and challenges that did not exist previously. The scale of a disruption is estimated by the scale of changes it brings on in the society and when you look at the pandemic, it has not been anything short of a worldwide earthquake, with its deep reaching tremors that continue to bring tectonic shifts in the order of the society as we have known it till now.
While the pandemic was expected to bring about a revolution in the healthcare industry, posing challenges that would have either crippled the healthcare sector globally or challenged innovation to bring about a new, advanced age of healthcare, the scale of challenges was not foreseen. A pandemic of this scale itself was not expected by people around the world.
What came in at further unexpected notice was the long-lasting effect the pandemic had on the economy, social culture and in general the lifestyle of the world we live in. As faces went behind masks and people went behind doors, the world had to prepare itself for the changes that the pandemic brought. The loss of personal interaction and community gathering meant that the social norms of the human society had to be drastically altered and spheres of the society like economy and education were the most affected during this phase. While economy is on the path of recovery now and activity is coming back to its optimal levels, the sector of education continues to stay physically shut as the children continue to be the most vulnerable section of today’s COVID 19 struck society.
Even the top CBSE schools in India, who were leading the education sector by imparting the best quality education for their students failed to cope with the challenges propped up by the pandemic initially. The students could no longer be in the traditional classroom set up to learn with their peers and interact with their teachers personally. The top schools in India might have had great faculty and advanced infrastructure by their side, the lack of technological knowledge and smart education solutions implemented in the school meant that the schools were struggling in an unprecedented situation like the pandemic.
SAI International School, one of the best CBSE schools in India and arguably the best school in India, had the advantage of being a technologically fortified edifice among its competitors and did not waste time in shifting to the virtual landscape to hold online classes for its students. In doing so, strategically used educational solutions and a tech savvy faculty helped the school and the school successfully launched the SAI Cloud School during the pandemic. The SAI Cloud School is an online classroom platform that is based on the vision that even though the school building remains closed, education should never stop.
The SAI Cloud School is a new concept of education introduced keeping the challenges faced by students and teachers during the pandemic and has helped them resume the process of teaching and learning seamlessly. Whether it is teaching the kids something new every day through online lectures or helping the kids learn through peer-to-peer interaction over the virtual platform, the SAI Cloud School is a good alternative for traditional school setting. The Cloud School has helped the teachers become more technically aware and also benefitted the students by exposing them to remote technology over the pandemic and making them digitally literate from an early age.
The SAI Cloud School has helped us realise certain important revelations over these past months and these are as follows-
The launch of a cloud school has made us aware of the fact that there is an existent gap in the digital skills known across families. While smartphones are available to everyone these days, not everyone is adept at handling digital platforms and it took a little time to get our patrons used to the features and workings of the SAI cloud school. The gap is complex when you understand the families associated with SAI are diverse and therefore have their own set of challenges towards imbibing digital skills. The parents and students have however overcome their own learning challenges to become adapted to the SAI Cloud School and the school has become very successful in carrying out virtual mode of education.
The new set of challenges raised by a virtual platform of education is the roadblocks to connecting with the students. While the traditional setup of classroom allowed teachers to personally interact with the students, the shift to virtual classroom meant that interactions were restricted to a screen. While this could be perceived as a disadvantage by many teachers, the SAI International School faculty has smilingly overcome these challenges to smoothly teach the students. The faculty has built strong mentor student relationships with the SAIoneers which has helped them in interacting and connecting with their students. Even on the virtual platform, the practice of personalised learning and special focus on doubts and challenging areas of lessons has helped the SAI Cloud School transcend the barrier of virtual education to fill the gap of learning during pandemic.
While there were apprehensions regarding the sphere of digital learning and even the best schools in India were doubtful on making the leap towards digital education, the pandemic has pushed the Indian education sector towards the space of digital learning. The schools, including SAI International school are discovering that if the teachers are provided with the right tools, the goal of digitally abled education is achievable and possible for long term. The digital education scenario has grown at a great rate this year and the trend of virtual schools will remain even after the pandemic fades.