The COVID-19 pandemic has left a permanent mark on our lives, whether physically or emotionally. In the mid of March 2020, the Prime Minister of India announced a nationwide lockdown that affected many businesses as well as institutions.
The educational sector was probably one of the fields that were affected most by the pandemic. Immediately after the lockdown, the schools, colleges, and other educational institutions were closed and students had to go on an impromptu vacation for more than two months before the online classes started.
Even after that, the education process was not running smoothly. Students were feeling isolated, teachers were unprepared for the transitions in their teaching methods, and parents had to get used to this process as well.
The process of partially unlocking the schools
After around six months, in September, the Ministry of Home Affairs allowed the partial opening of the schools for grades 9th to 12th. Students who had any doubts regarding their studies were allowed to come to school and meet their teachers to solve the doubts and queries they had concerning their courses.
However, students and parents were hesitant to go to school unless a vaccine is not found for the virus. Moreover, with a limited budget, school administrations are finding it harder to open a school for only some students. The teachers had to manage the online classes and have to come to the school for students who come to solve their doubts.
Needless to say, not many parents sent their children to school. The schools continued their online classes as usual and teachers are still teaching from their houses.
Unlock 5.0 and its challenges for the schools
Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is thinking of slowly opening the schools in phases to restart physical education. Many states in India are allowing schools to restart from November, the details are still uncertain though.
If the schools decide to reopen, then there are many things that the schools and the parents will have to prepare for including safety measures. But those are not the only challenges the schools will face after reopening from lockdown.
In this blog, let’s look at all the hurdles that schools will have to cross to reopen successfully after the lockdown.
Student safety measures and requirements
Schools that were a center for the board exams had already made certain preparations to welcome students after such a long time. Other schools will soon follow to prepare for a new school session.
These preparations include taking measurements for students’ safety. Regular temperature measurements, sanitization, and maintaining social distance will be a priority of schools as will be the following of any other safety guidelines proposed by the government.
The schools will have to make sure that every student that enters the premises has his/her temperature checked and proper sanitization is available at various points at school.
Teachers will have to urge students to sanitize their hands at regular intervals, especially with the younger students. It will be harder for teachers and the school staff to make sure that every student keeps wearing a mask. Nonetheless, it is something that the teachers and school will have to be completely sure about.
The emotional well-being of students
After such a long time, students may take longer to get used to the disciplined schedule of the school. Many of the students may have witnessed the effects of the pandemic, physical, emotional, or financial.
Teachers and the school staff need to be ready to tackle such situations and make sure that the children do not feel more stress or pressure from the school itself.
Counseling students to help them out of that trauma or at least helping them bring a semblance of normal school life will be a great challenge for schools and teachers. Schools will have to train their teachers to handle such cases with extreme care and understanding.
For the first few months, until the students get used to school life again, the school and its teachers will focus on helping students settle down in their routine instead of trying to complete the course. Hence the assessments will not be done based on the typical exam structure. Instead, activities like class quiz, role plays, designing, presentation, etc. will be encouraged more so that students do not feel pressured.
Anyhow, students’ mental state after the pandemic will be one of the challenges for the schools to handle with incredible care.
Since all schools will need to follow the safety guidelines stated by the government, students may be allowed on the campus in different groups to avoid large crowds.
However, if it is not possible, the schools will have to increase their infrastructure to include all students in the school at a single time. An average Indian classroom incorporated around 60-70 students in the past, that strength will reduce to being half or less. This means that another classroom will be needed to include the others. Along with more classrooms, more teachers will also be needed to teach these many classes.
Finances, therefore, will be one of the problems that schools will have to face to increase the infrastructure of a school and employing new teaching staff.
How the School Management System can be of help?
There are many ways that a school management system can be useful to different schools and educational institutions. School ERP allows teachers to conduct live online classes from wherever they are. So, when they are teaching one batch of students in the classroom, other students who are still hesitant to join school can be there through the smart class. The features of this virtual classroom allow students to participate in the conversation almost similar to that of a normal physical class.
Apart from that, students who may have missed a class or two can revisit the lecture from the video tutorials where the teachers can keep the pre-recorded videos of lectures from their class.
Since a lot of people have moved during or after the lockdown, there will also be an increase in admissions across different schools. Instead of conducting admissions on-ground, the school administration can take online admissions with the school management system.
Similarly, they can reduce hand contact with money or funds by allowing parents to pay fees online with the integration of a payment gateway in the school ERP.
In this blog, we have only discussed some of the big challenges that schools will have to face after reopening from lockdown. The ground reality will definitely bring in more unexpected challenges that the schools will have to overcome innovatively.
Schools and educational institutions using the school management system will have a greater advantage as the software will help in speeding up the smaller tasks and aid teachers and students in simplifying the learning experience.
If you are looking for a school ERP to accelerate your school’s work, then try the one-year free trial that you can later buy for minimal monthly or yearly subscription fees.
What do you think is the major challenge for schools reopening after such a long time? Do share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.