Will physical classrooms live only in our memories now?- The New Indian Express | #teacher | #children | #kids

Express News Service
HYDERABAD :  Sitting on the last bench of your classroom, making new friends, waiting for activities to celebrate at school or college have not been happening for two years now. The noise in the class when the class teacher is not around, the arguments with classmates over small issues and the times that we spent in the canteen have been the most cherished moments for all the students who have been missing out of school and college for almost two academic years now. We all remember our last year in a school or college, we still recollect them whenever we sit and talk to our friends, but for all the students who started their academic year in June 2019-2021 have only one thing to remember – online classes.

Apart from students, teachers have also been missing out on typical classroom activities. Shifra Alina, who changed her school when she was in eight standard, wished to learn more about her friends in the new school, but little did she know the time spent at school would last only for a few months.Now that she has only seen the entire 9th grade moving to the 10th grade online. She wishes that she starts having classroom experience again. “It has been a long time since someone spoke about the classroom with me. I have been attending online classes and all that we do is stare at the video and give our regular tests.

We lost the feeling of a classroom. I miss spending time with my friends and working on group projects with them. There was so much for me to learn when I used to go to school, but now it seems like nothing is left to remember. In fact, being in 9th grade, I thought I would bid a farewell to my seniors with a violin performance but since they have been promoted without any celebration, it makes me unhappy. Now I am in 10thstandard and I do not know when things will get better and when we will get back to school again,” she laments.

Zarah Afina, who is now promoted to class 7, became emotional as she spoke about how she is missing school activities. “I am a back bencher and conducting events at school, planning something for our annual cultural programs and participating in activities are a few things that I miss a lot. I also miss my teachers, especially my English teacher. The way she used to explain the subject and tell stories was different from others and since the online class started, I cannot connect with my class room memories.”K S Haniel who has no clue about how a degree college life starts, has started his online classes for his course B Com Computers. 

“Starting off my graduation without having a knowledge of how it all starts is something that makes me feel uncomfortable about. I wish to create memories with my college mates and recollect them later, but all I know for now is that there are classes online and I need to attend them.”K Suhas, who is pursuing his film studies, recalls the time that he used to spend with his friends and professors at his college. “Our course is such that we have a lot of practical sessions and we are missing them. Now we just have to sit and stare at our screens at home which is very difficult, and exams are also not conducted in a correct way. 

I remember when we had college and regular classes how we used to watch movies,complete our practical sessions with our friends and then spend time in the canteen. After class was done, our professors used to sit with us and talk. I miss all these things now and wait for it to get back to normal.”We also talk to teachers and lecturers who express theirgrief regarding the uncertain situation. Sharon Malini, a lecturer at a private junior college who teaches Intermediate students, explains why the new education system is not of great use.

“No collaboration and miscommunication – these are the struggles for students. In the ambience of college, students not only gain academic knowledge, but ethics and other personality development habits. There is a good connection maintained when it comes to traditional classroom learning and I feel students are missing out on the biggest charm of life,” she says. Vinitha Robert, a private school teacher who teaches students of 10 and 12th, mentions how she misses on teaching practical sessions to her students. 

“As a teacher I personally miss conducting my classroom activities with children. Integration of concepts is much easier when we see the child face to face in difficult subjects like Chemistry. If this pandemic continues and if online classes continue, the children will probably lose track of preparing for competitive exams.”Students and teachers only hope that things go back to normal soon.

The noise in the class when teacher is not around is one of the most cherished moments of school

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