Home Interview Caution Occupies Every Mind Even As Schools Mull Reopening Post-Pandemic

Caution Occupies Every Mind Even As Schools Mull Reopening Post-Pandemic

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‘Prometheus School Will Wait ‘n Watch’

The UN said that by September 2020, Covid-19 had affected the mental as well as physical state of about 72 crore children all over the world, owing to the fact that they were stuck at home, with no playing in the park with friends. The online classes throughout the year also took its toll on their education and knowledge because not all the kids were able to cope with the new dynamics presented by their schools. Nevertheless, reopening of schools has slowly started to pick up across India. Some states have announced phased reopening and others are closely watching the improvement in the pandemic situation before making the final call.

To get a wholesome view about what reopening of schools would mean for the students as well as their parents, the Curriculum magazine spoke to Mukesh Sharma, Chairman, Prometheus School—one of Noida’s prominent new age schools

 

Q 1) The decision to reopen schools, even as the pandemic threatens with a third wave round the corner, cannot be taken lightly. What is your plan and how do you see reopening unfolding?

Ans – With the pandemic still at large, we need to carefully plan and execute our reopening strategy. Prometheus’ utmost priorities are its students and teachers. There is no way that we would imprudently decide on the matter since there are precious lives at stake. Yes, reopening is on our agenda, but only after the situation improves. With an online mode of learning, classes are being conducted as usual – with minimal disruptions, since the faculty and the students are fully equipped. The only factors that we miss are social interactions and activities that were conducted within Prometheus’ premises. But we would definitely take meaningful steps in our process of reopening – keeping all factors and precautions in place.

Q 2) The past one and a half years have been harsh on all stakeholders, more so children. How has been your experience and importantly, tell us how did you cope with it and kept the academics going?

Ans – The onslaught of COVID-19 brought forth an adverse reality that we are still grappling with. We ourselves have witnessed the ramifications that it brought to our known and dear ones. Many at Prometheus, be it the faculty, students or parents, were also equally impacted due to the pandemic. However, we have managed to sail through these uncharted waters and are still on the quest with all the resources that we could put in place. Keeping academics unaffected was a task that we took most seriously and conquered since Prometheus in itself is based on the very idea of being “digital savvy”. With Adam, we’ve been fully equipped with the best technology to provide inquiry-based classes and experiential learning. Coping on the academic front was seamless with the resources that we had in hand.

Q 3) What were the greatest challenges and how did you overcome them?

Ans – We like to see challenges as opportunities and learnings – we reform its understanding to something which can always be overcome with the right set of strategies in place. From building a school from the ground-up to COVID-19 hitting the world unexpectedly – were all forms of learning that we undertook and tackled effectively. One more learning was to keep the students engaged during such trying times. These were not just limited to academics, of course, so the faculty kept them busy with various extracurricular activities, online sessions, seminars, and workshops (play and experiential-based). These activities were organized to not only boost the morale of the students but to impart fruitful knowledge as well.

Q 4) So far what are some key lessons that your school drew from the situation?

Ans – We believe in making the best of every difficult situation and offer our very best efforts to sail through – this was the key lesson that Prometheus drew from the situation. We have been paving a path towards excellence, no matter what. In these trying times, we have made full efforts to keep our Prometheus family’s safety and health our utmost priority – we even organized a vaccination drive in collaboration with Sharda Hospital at Prometheus.

Q 5) The silver lining in the devastating pandemic has been a re-imagination of the education system. In a way the pedagogy and curriculum of international school boards is being vindicated. Your comment.

Ans – Prometheus’ motto itself is ‘learning RE imagined’. With the pandemic, this became even more pronounced with a seamless shift to an online mode of learning. We’ve been following innovative pedagogies at Prometheus – from critical thinking and research skills to enhancing student agency, etc. And in imparting such, we have kept our core focus intact – i.e., on students’ social and emotional well-being – this is an important facet that we consider at Prometheus to ensure that students become happy learners.

Q 6) Noida has been a showpiece suburb for the country and quality schools have been contributing to its rising tag of an education city as well. The Prometheus School is also a shining star in this club. What would be your message to parents/children looking towards your school and other schools in the vicinity?

Ans – Noida surely is a rising hub of quality education. With impeccable infrastructure and resources, The Prometheus School is crystallizing its vision to create and “nurture the next generation global leaders who can thrive anywhere in the world”. With excellence in mind and zest in our hearts, we want to see budding leaders with creative and productive ideas, to make a difference in the world and reach greater heights. We are contributing to society in nurturing such learners by providing the best-in-class technology, resources, and infrastructure. We invite more learners into our family – to become promising leaders in their areas of interest.

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