Aditya Birla Education Trust recently conducted a survey #BackToSchool to gather insights from students, parents and teachers on their readiness to get back to physical schools. The COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc across the world and had a near-universal impact on learners and teachers, disrupting the entire education sector on a large scale. Physical schools were converted into virtual ones and teachers had to undergo a serious transformation in training efficacies. There are ongoing conversations around schools in Maharashtra starting soon. As per the ABET report, 57% of students based in Mumbai will prefer a hybrid learning model going forward.
#BackToSchool survey by Aditya Birla Education Trust was conducted among 1500 respondents including students, parents as well as teachers from Mumbai. The sudden shift to online learning jolted the education system which was not easy for everyone to get accustomed to. Thus, the analysis reveals that approximately 30% of students, 32% parents, and 44% teachers found the online mode of learning to be somewhat challenging due to various reasons.
Mrs. Neerja Birla, Founder & Chairperson, Aditya Birla Education Trust said, “The pandemic put a halt to the traditional classroom-based teaching and learning, compelling the education sector to shift to digital learning platforms. Although teachers are connected to their students virtually, the essence of a face-to-face classroom collaboration can never be substituted. Blended learning and hybrid classrooms are the future in the post-pandemic era, which combines face-to-face sessions with technology-based asynchronous content”
Getting back to physical school:
The survey recognized that 67% of students, 59% of parents, and 64% of teachers prefer attending schools physically provided all the safety precautions are followed. These include complete vaccination of the school staff, regular sanitization of the entire premises, maintaining social distancing, encouraging hygiene among students etc. The initial findings of the survey show that the majority prefer going back to school in case schools plan to reopen.
The study also captured that around 57% students and 48% of parents would like to opt for a hybrid learning model where the students will have to attend the physical classes approximately twice or thrice a week. Similarly, 44% of teachers also prefer a hybrid model of teaching for the time being.
Increased virtual fatigue:
The pandemic has led to a rise in use of digital devices thereby increasing the screen time. With the ongoing online schooling, it should be no surprise that ‘virtual fatigue’ has and will continue to be a serious challenge for many. A whopping 55% of teachers’ have experienced digital fatigue while imparting classes online at some point in time. Likewise, 59% of the students felt that online learning is tougher and more tiresome as compared to in-school learning. 80% of parents are worried about their child’s social-emotional health and would be at peace if life can go back to the pre-Covid times.
A strong teacher-student bond not only enhances the learning process but also leaves an enduring impact on the latter. However, due to the entire learn from home scenario, only 21% of the teachers felt strongly connected to the students during the past year. According to the findings, 11% of students feel that online learning is more engaging compared to in-school learning, whereas 84% prefer in-campus learning as it gives them the opportunity to collaborate with their classmates, get their queries solved from their favourite teachers and much more. 41% of teachers believe that the transition from a traditional chalkboard approach to a wholly digital one has impacted the quality of learning. Adding to which 13% of parents think what was lacking among their children during online learning was the zest to study, the motivation, and the healthy competition that usually drives children to set their best foot forward.
School reopening guidelines and parents’ readiness:
It is crucial to guard the forthcoming generation against Coronavirus and schools must take decisive steps towards eliminating the obstacles in the education of students. Based on the survey, 88% of the parents feel that regular sanitization at the school is imperative. 77% feel that everyone should maintain social distancing properly and 74% of them feel regular temperature checks should be taken care of, by the school authority. 87% of them feel there shouldn’t be any compromise in the universal and correct usage of masks. 89% of them believe that hand-washing and respiratory etiquette should be taught properly among the students. And on top of these, the majority of the parents, i.e., 95% feel that teachers and other staff should be completely vaccinated before students go #BackToSchool.