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My experience of online schooling during Covid-19

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By Ria H. Malhotra

I remember the first time I entered Apeejay School, Saket. I was upset and burst into tears when I left my parents at the school’s gate. But, as soon as I entered my class, my teacher came up to me and introduced me to my class. She made me feel at home. Then, as time progressed, Apeejay became my home and all its teachers, my family.

They cared and loved all of us, students. If ever we dropped our food or forgot to get lunch, they would buy food for us from the cafeteria. The times we were upset, they would comfort us. They not only taught us academically but also encouraged us to become good people.

Before I knew it, I was finishing grade 5, and was soon about to go from a primary student to a middle schooler. But, as luck would have it, the Covid-19 pandemic hit. There was no time to adjust, everything was suddenly just very different. Online schooling started. It was abnormal for us all. I had never thought that I would start my middle school years on my laptop. I had new teachers whom I had never interacted with before and it was all on the Zoom platform.

It was new, and therefore uncomfortable for me. But, I found that I was able to adjust quickly and that happened because of my teachers. I did have some teachers with whom I was familiar.

The way I began my Middle school was no less than a shock. The whole process of learning changed and one major thing was the use of “Moodle” which had different sections for all our subjects. We did everything on Moodle, even our exams! Never in our wildest dreams did we think that we wouldn’t be seeing the rooms of our school or meeting our teachers and friends for so long!

It took a bit of re-learning and adjustments but with patience, perseverance and dedication, we found a new normal! I am now a technological genius and now I teach simple tips and tricks to my parents.

In the online classes, daily assignments kept us on our toes and the many extra-curricular activities like club classes every Saturday for an hour in the afternoon kept our morale high! My favourite class however was the ‘Awakened Citizens Programme’ which took place for an hour on Saturday. In these classes, our teachers used to teach us human values like the universal belief – “I CAN” and many other topics. These classes made me more open to learning and provided insightful lessons.

And so, this was how I started grade 6. I hoped that the schools would reopen soon. But the Covid-19 cases started to increase and there was no chance. I started with grade 7 with the same online classes, but this time it was not so hard. It had been a year now with these classes and we all knew how to manage them. This year we had more hand-written tests and we tried to minimise our typing.

Another club which started for me this year was the Book Club. I have read so many great books before and the Club helped me find out more great books. It made me a reader! I began looking forward to the discussions and debates at the Club. Half of our term has already ended now and many of our seniors have started going to school. I cannot wait to walk in my school corridors once again.

In these past two years, I feel that I have grown so much. Not only have I learnt to manage a new platform of studying, I have learnt how to study independently, divide my time better, and most importantly, how special my school really is. In the pandemic, I was able to spend more time with my family and have connected with my teachers in a unique way.

I cannot wait for school to re-open, not only because I miss it dearly, but also because I want to meet and thank both my Primary and Middle School teachers for everything they have done for me during these tough times. They are the ones who have helped me transform from a not so confident, sensitive girl to an articulate and responsible girl! They have allowed me to open up my mind and explore the various possibilities in life! I look forward to learning and absorbing more at the school!

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