The COVID-19 pandemic outbreak and prolonged nationwide lockdown has posed an unprecedented challenge for education institutions. In the face of the resultant chaos and uncertainty, education leaders have been braving all odds to ensure provision of uninterrupted learning. Viewing this crisis as an opportunity, school managements are introducing innovative online teaching-learning solutions and engagement programmes while preparing students and faculty for the digital online world.
With a well established network of 12 K-12 schools, 5 preschools and 2 business schools in north India, Seth Anandram Jaipuria Group of Educational Institutions (SAJGEI) has been at the forefront of this digital technologies-driven online education revolution.
Under the able leadership of chairman Shishir Jaipuria, the SAJGEI management and staff have designed an engaging and personalised online curriculum and ensured a smooth transition of the teaching-learning process to online digital platforms.
“Our endeavor is to transform adversity into opportunity by addressing the challenges with commitment and dedication and prepare our students and staff for the future. We are progressively moving towards evolving a new paradigm of learning by focusing on innovative methods like flipped classrooms and blended learning. We are upbeat that the disruption caused by the pandemic will usher a new change in the socio-economic scenario of our country,” says Jaipuria, grandson of Late Seth Mungturam Jaipuria (1904-1978) who promoted the group’s flagship Seth Anandram Jaipuria College in Kolkata in 1945.
A graduate of Christ Church College, Kanpur, with a law degree from the city’s DAV Law College, Shishir Jaipuria joined the family business as an executive officer of the Swadeshi Cotton Mills. During a 36-year eventful career, he has held several important positions in family companies. Since he took charge as chairman of SAJGEI in 2010, the group has rapidly expanded, particularly in the educationally under-served Hindi heartland state of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Madhya Pradesh. The group’s flagship Seth Anandram Jaipuria School, Kanpur (estb.1974) is ranked #1 in the city and #2 in Uttar Pradesh in the EducationWorld India School Rankings 2019-20.
Sustaining Learning through Virtual Classes:
The Seth Anandram Jaipuria schools’ (SAJS) carefully crafted online learning curriculum offers an excellent blend of scholastic and co-scholastic learning including arts, fance, yoga, meditation, sports and even morning assemblies.
Conducted through the Zoom video conferencing app and Microsoft Teams virtual collaboration platform, the average outreach of the online classes is 85 percent.
Remedial classes are also conducted for the slow learners every Saturday.
Training in Virtual Platforms:
To enable seamless delivery of knowledge, SAJS teachers are provided regular training in using digital platforms and the nuances of online teaching-learning with the strong back-end support of the schools’ IT department.
Blend of Different Learning Techniques:
The schools follow an optimal blend of synchronous and asynchronous learning to provide a comprehensive digital education experience to students.
This approach ensures an immersive experience for learners where they can benefit from accessibility of real-time interaction as well as the flexibility of off-line components like recorded presentations, videos, group projects and collaborative assignments.
Focus on Social Emotional Learning:
Social and Emotional Learning ( SEL) has been a special focus area of SAJS during the ongoing Covid-19 crisis and learning is centred around a structured curriculum. The committed teachers keep the communication channels open with parents and students and ensure that every student learns to understand and manage emotions, set goals, show empathy towards others, establish positive relationships and act responsibly.
Teachers seek daily feedback from parents and periodic surveys are conducted to address specific issues. They also conduct virtual interactive sessions with parents to discuss ways and means to improve the virtual learning process.
“We plan to open grievance cells in all our schools for effective parent engagement. The idea is to reply to all queries of parents with compassion and understanding to create positive advocacy within our parents community. Afterall, they are our partners in this difficult phase. To keep parents updated on the progress of the online classes, we share with them a summary report every week,” says Shishir Jaipuria
Keep Teachers Morale High:
Jaipuria believes it is imperative to keep the morale of the teachers high throughout this difficult phase and encourages the SAJS senior leadership to address all their concerns.
“Our teachers have taken the challenge head on, right from day one. Their agility in adapting to the new situation has been positively commendable. They have quickly mastered digital technologies and new pedagogical techniques to ensure continuity of the knowledge delivery process.”
Community Engagement Programme:
SAJS have launched an outreach programme to offer training to government school teachers in conducting online classes. The school managements also ensure regular dissemination of information on Covid-19 safety measures and cyber security guidelines to all stakeholders via external communication channels and social media.
Flexible Fee Payment Schedule:
The schools have been offering flexibility in fee payment as a gesture of compassion towards students and parents during this difficult phase. The schools have also waived off transport and optional fees.
“We wholeheartedly support the circular issued by the UP government making it possible for parents in our schools to pay fees in installments,” says Shishir Jaipuria.
Planning for Post Lockdown:
Clearly defined Standard Operating Procedures have been formulated for a staggered opening of schools post lockdown to ensure safety of every student. Classes would be grouped into pools and each pool would attend school on alternate days to avoid overcrowding, thereby maintaining the norms of social distancing.
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