COVID-19 is quite a lesson for all of us. The pandemic has not just changed our lives but has added multiple different perspectives to different domains of our lives. For instance, if we talk about the academic sector, we never really thought of seeing school children attending online classes before the COVID outbreak. But since the past few months, things have drastically changed. Online classes have become the sole mode of school education.
But here lies the question. Do kids go to school just for academic development?
The answer is no. School education is all about ensuring a child’s holistic development. Therefore, classroom learning or completion of syllabus is one part of it. The holistic education includes communication, collaboration, physical development and a lot of other aspects. But due to the Pandemic, students are asked to sit at home and schools are trying to mitigate the learning gap through the online classes.
While online classes can help students to complete the academic syllabus, it can not rejuvenate the complete school vibe. Therefore education enthusiasts across the world are thinking about different ideas to bring the children back to school while ensuring their safety.
As long as the COVID-19 vaccine is not available in the market, social distancing is the only way to prevent the virus from massive outspread. While adults are struggling to follow this norm, it is undoubtedly very difficult for children to follow the same especially when they will meet their peers after month. Keeping different metrics in mind, researchers are prescribing hybrid learning for school children.
Hybrid learning is an approach to education which blends the traditional method of learning as well as experiential learning. The hybrid learning involves online learning model as well as provides a scope of classroom teaching-learning method. During this COVID crisis, schools can opt for this Hybride learning process. If the Government permits reopening of schools, then schools can follow this method. With hybrid learning, schools can request students of alternative classes to come to school during alternative days and at that same time rest of classes can attend classes from home. This method will help students with the opportunity of coming back to school safely. Not letting the entire student group come to school can also help in crowd management. The arrival of less number of students at school will help school administration in crowd management. Moreover, social distancing can be maintained properly.
The idea of reopening school with a hybrid teaching-learning method and allowing alternative classes to be physically present in school each day is a reopening method which is measured by the school administration. This is known as staggered school opening method. Amid the outbreak of Coronvirus pandemic – it is the only way which can give schools a hope of going back to normalcy gradually.
Already central Indiana district of United States has announced their school reopening plans and they are going to follow the hybrid learning module. Noblesville, Western Boone, Lebanon Community and Zionsville Community school districts are going to use the hybrid schedule for middle school or junior high as well as high schools. Warren Township schools of Indiana has planned to call back students of grades six and up will during alternative days as well.
As long as the COVID-19 vaccine is not available in the market for common people, it is difficult to go back to the normal school routine. Moreover, it is difficult to even state that when the vaccination will officially begin in our country. But putting a pause on education completely because of COVID-19 cannot be the solution and forever online classes too are not great for the development of students. Thus, introducing hybrid leaning and ensuring a staggered opening of schools can be a temporary solution which can help in students’ holistic development even during this ‘new normal’ situation.