Seven Challenges that schools faced while going online
It has been almost a month since schools went online. While some educationists said they were pushed into it by parents, some parents alleged that schools went online so that they can charge the fee from parents. But how difficult was it for schools to implement this decision? What kind of challenges did they face?
- Teacher training
This was one of the major hurdles before schools when they decided to go online. Most of their teachers had no expertise in teaching online. Hence, schools invested a lot of time and money in training its teachers in online tools.
- Teachers busy with household work
Ever since the lockdown was declared, people have no maids to help them out in their household work. And some of them have small babies. With both parents working and no one to take care of their children, it isn’t easy for teachers to teach while at the same time manage babies and do household work. “It was a shocking situation for us as well. My teachers were alone at home, had to do household work and also take care of their toddlers. So, we planned our time timetable according to everyone’s convenience,” said Dr Priti Ojha, Principal, Delhi International School, Sector 23, Dwarka.
- Family often didn’t understand their new job requirement
School teachers taking online classes is a new trend, something their families are not quite used to. So, teachers often find it difficult to explain their families their new job demands. “This was a huge challenge. Hats off to these women. They sign on WhatsApp at almost 8.30 am everyday and there’s no relief till 3 or 4 pm. Team calls, department calls/ planning/ strategising. Families don’t understand that they are at school,” said Guneet Ohri, Principal, Suncity School, Sec 37D, Gurugram.
- Technical challenges
Bandwidth challenges, wifi not working, lack of technical expertise – challenges were plenty. As Dr Ojha mentions, “Initially, it was difficult. Some teachers weren’t tech-friendly, some feared camera. But all of them have found their strength now.”
- Long working hours
“The day doesn’t end when classes end, it ends when all reports have been sent,” said Dr Anshu Arora, Principal, Amity International School, Gurugram.
Agrees Anju Gupta, Headmistress, Ahlcon International School, Delhi, “Normally, schools close by 2.30 pm but we are working till all hours, planning for next day, answering parental queries, preparing ppt, drafting mails etc.”
- Limited resources available with parents
Students don’t have books with them as the new session was yet to begin when schools were ordered to close. There are also limited laptops available with each family. And the laptop is needed by all, parents for their official work, children for attending online schools or tuitions, etc. Hence, there are times when students are unable to attend classes. Some schools have thus started providing recorded videos of the classes to parents so that students can study whenever they want.
- EWS students
Schools are going out of their way to ensure no students suffer because of lack of resources. For children whose parents are not well-versed with technology or who do not have laptops, schools are sharing the worksheets and assignments on whatsapp and also sending voice messages or SMS to parents daily.