In the wake of COVID-19 the world experienced a paradigm shift in the education system favouring online learning. In response to the constraints of the pandemic, St. Lawrence High School (SLHS), Kolkata, under our Principal, Father Sebastian James, S.J. along with the Academic Coordinators- Mr. Debraj Chowdhury, Ms. Saswati Biswas and Ms. Jayashree Sherpa, attained new heights switching to the online mode of education.
Though the school initially began with uploading regular educational videos on YouTube and worksheets on the school website, soon a new model of education emerged with significant benefits for the learners. Classes were henceforth conducted regularly by means of Online application which enables group collaboration with a sense of community between learners. Classes are limited to three periods each day with 40 minutes of interaction time per period, keeping an eye on the children’s health. Intervals are provided for the students’ convenience. Worksheets and their Answer Keys, corresponding to the syllabus portions taught in class, are regularly uploaded on the school website to test the students’ understanding. The worksheets can be easily accessed by anyone and has benefited learners from five to six different countries who have been following the SLHS Website.
Two Terminal Examinations were successfully conducted through Online examinations in the Multiple-Choice Questions format where more than 2000 students sat for the exam. In the First Term there were 40 questions for the Primary Section and 60 questions for the Secondary and Higher Secondary Sections with a time limit of 40 minutes. In the Second Term there were 60 questions for the Primary Section and 80 questions for the Secondary and Higher Secondary Sections with a time limit of 30 minutes. The SLHS Technical Team and the Clerical Staff readily provided assistance to any parent, student or teacher ensuring the smooth running of the system. Furthermore, Help-Desk Numbers were provided for clarification of any doubts on the part of parents and students. Report Cards were generated and sent to parents online to mark their child’s progress.
From the start of the new year 2021, the school has opted for a more combined approach with Online and Offline classes taking place simultaneously. In accordance with Government directives, school has reopened for Class 10 students only, with parental consent. Only 50% of the students are allowed to attend the class on a particular day. The rest of the students attend on the following day. Live streaming is done of the Offline classes so that the children back at home should not suffer any hampering of academics.
Our Principal, along with the staff and some teachers, has made a video stressing the importance of adhering to the COVID Health Protocol. The video emphasizes the extent to which our normal routine must change in order to adapt to the “new normal”. Father speaks directly to the school students welcoming them back with warmth and love but also reminds them that their “second home” would be safe only if the COVID Protocols are properly followed by them. The school ensures fumigation of the workplace, proper ventilation in indoor spaces, social distancing, thermal checking at all entry points, proper sanitization and spraying of disinfectants in all areas. The children have been asked to wear masks at school, carry their own sanitizers, food and water, refrain from sharing items of personal belonging and maintain a distance of 6 feet from each other.