The year was 2020, the month was March, and the Annual Assessments were in progress in many schools across the country, when a certain news was in the air; news of a deadly virus infecting thousands across the globe. It was the SARS COV-2 virus that was wreaking havoc in many parts of the world, and had encroached in India as well. Everywhere there was an air of terror and doubt, as more and more people started to get symptomatic. Soon the schools and other institutions were hurriedly closed down, and in a short while the country witnessed the biggest Lockdown in the world. The machinery of the entire nation came to a standstill.
Obviously, the annual exams for the academic year 2019-20 were cancelled, and the results were given based on the average of the previous assessments. But it did not matter too much, since the academic year was already nearing the end. The lockdown continued, as the situation went from bad to worse, and the number of deaths and infected people began to grow exponentially. But with the passage of time, the situation became worrisome for the academic world, as the time approached for the new academic year to start. Surely, the situation was dubious and the lockdown didn’t seem to end any time soon; however, the education of our children could not be compromised for long.
Thus, there came a sudden shift in the paradigm, where overnight, education transformed from the physical classroom to an online platform. It was a challenge, no doubt, for the entire teaching fraternity, to adopt and adapt to this new normal. Not all of the faculty were well-versed with technology, and devising effective ways of delivering lessons on an online platform, ensuring student engagement and understanding, was a big challenge in itself. Nevertheless, the teaching community stepped in as no less than warriors, and combated with all these challenges squarely, and emerged triumphant, for it was the question of the future of our children. And now, more or less, every school has switched to virtual classrooms for delivering lessons. However, there are some schools that have really taken this culture of online education to a whole new level; and the name of The Lexicon Schools, Pune shines as a beacon of Online Learning, providing quality education in academic and co-curricular areas, even during these pandemic times.
The first milestone was to adopt a suitable virtual platform for conducting classes. Here, various computer software and applications came in handy, like Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams and even Whatsapp. But only choosing the right application was not all; teachers had to familiarize themselves with all the features and modus operandi of the application. Some shuddered at the very thought of online teaching, some struggled with taking in all this new technical knowledge, some slogged with under-equipped gadgets and poor bandwidth, while still others acquiesced the compromised privacy of their homes and wrought multitasking between household chores and online classes. But never did these ‘academic soldiers’ quit their front, but, day in and day out, they ensured that despite the pandemic and the lockdown, the dissemination of knowledge did not cease.
When it comes to online teaching, lectures alone are not sufficient. The essential human-connect of the physical classroom, between teacher and student is lacking, which needs to be abridged by alternate ways. Moreover, due to the lockdown, books and other reading materials were scarcely available. Ways had to be devised for providing the same to the students through alternate means. The rich repository of NCERT e-books in pdf form, came to rescue as manna dew. These were made available to the students by the schools. The Lexicon Schools went a step further, and through their protracted ERP system, the notes and worksheets of every chapter in every subject, were made available to the students, in addition to the NCERT e-books and online lectures. For accomplishing this, the teachers of this CBSE school, toiled night and day to prepare these easily understandable notes and innovative worksheets, in addition to providing links of relevant content on the internet. Every effort was made to make this virtual academic journey of the students more facile and ‘school-like’. Even the lectures were given by the teachers with the help of self-prepared power-point presentations, to ensure maximum comprehension and student engagement.
For making its educators more adept with the shifting paradigm towards online education, The Lexicon Schools also organised various teacher training workshops and webinars to train them in the nuances of online teaching. Teachers were also made to undertake various trainings offered by the CBSE and its Diksha portal. All efforts were taken to facilitate the teaching staff to adapt well to the new normal, which would, in turn, enhance the quality of online education. And to top that, it was not only the academic subjects that were the focus of attention; even the co-curricular and extra-curricular activities were given equal emphasis, for an all-round development of the students, just the way it would be during physical schooling. Be it Art & Craft or Music, Dance or Health & Physical Education, Class Assemblies, or other extra-curricular activities, The Lexicon Schools have tried to maintain the academic experience of the children, the way it would be in an offline schooling. Even the pattern of assessment was shifted from the subjective to a more objective based assessments conducted through the Quiz and Assignment modules of the ERP. The concept of MLV or Making Learning Visible, enabled a better evaluation of student understanding through activity-based and project-based learning of students during this pandemic time.
The Lexicon Schools emerged as one of the promising schools that went over the edge measures to warrant the continuity of quality education and restoration of academic experience, derailed by the Covid-19 pandemic. This only goes on to say that The Lexicon Schools have simply carried forward, what they practised in principle during physical classes. They have a reputation of being the best CBSE schools of Pune, propagating an educational culture that ensures holistic development of its children. The Lexicon Schools are renowned for its unique specialities, that make them a step ahead of the other institutions. Its pedagogical strategies closely conforming to the principles and provisions of Multiple Intelligences, Bloom’s Taxonomy by Harvard Gardner and the Seven Habits of Steven Covey, the use of Quick Math, Graphic Organizers, Thinker Keys as part of academics, conduct of activities like Research and Development, and its junior counterpart- Caterpillar to Butterfly, are but a few to name some.
Having ranked first for the best National Curriculum for multiple times and producing 100% board results, the Lexicon Schools have proven their mettle in the field of academics, both during offline as well as online classes. Implementing a child-centric pedagogy and ensuring the achievement of the prescribed CBSE Learning Outcomes, they are truly one of the best CBSE schools in Pine. Whether in the realm of Online Classes, or the Conventional Learning practices, this CBSE School has really done it right.