A year back, when a largely unknown virus originated from China put the world under lockdown, education of over 286 million children in India was directly affected, as about 1.5 million schools were imparting primary and secondary education had to remain shut for a while. We thought that it was just an extended summer vacation; the schools would reopen in two-three months. However, the virus and the government had other plans. Now, we are at the beginning of a new academic year, with students and teachers still at home, defending the second wave of coronavirus.
As the virus continues to circulate globally, successive closures and reopening are likely to be a part of our academic calendar. According to the latest data by UNESCO, more than 888 million children worldwide continue to face disruptions to their education due to full and partial school closures. A report published by the UN looked at education during Covid and beyond and noted that several countries were planning to implement a “hybrid” or blended education delivery model. Other countries were significantly reducing class sizes or providing lessons outside, and in many countries, institutions required that almost all students and their teachers wore masks.
In India, many students are out of online classes now, as we do not have a digital infrastructure that ensures the last mile connectivity to include every individual in our society. However, in a city like Bangalore, where technological awareness is much higher and internet access is better, the adoption of digital education was rather an effortless affair compared to other parts of the country. It has helped schools to innovate beyond regular online education and make learning more interactive and fun. In this issue, we have identified the ’10 Most Innovative Schools in Bangalore’ that have gone the extra mile to provide quality education during this challenging time. On the cover, we feature SKEI – Smt. Kamalabai Educational Institution, a 90-year-old Institution situated in the heart of Bangalore. Driving innovation, the institute is shifting from brick-and-mortar schooling to co-exist with online learning.