Sunday, April 19, 2020

When Corona gives Lemons, Manzillions make Lemonade

How Manzillions are adapting to learn in the midst of COVID-19

COVID-19 is officially a pandemic that is spreading like wildfire around the globe. It has changed people's lives to an unimaginable extent. The virus was able to shut down most workplaces, evacuate schools and colleges and force people to stay at home.

While some are thrilled about spending quality time with loved ones at home, house arrest is a total bummer for a few. 

We at Manzil also had to learn to adapt to the new environment and ensure that learning is not hindered. Just like elsewhere, the reactions from Manzillions were varied. While some expressed missing a “physical” class, others spoke about online classes saving them commute time. Spending time with family was emotionally fulfilling to some and disturbing to a few. 

Despite the panic and challenges caused by lockdown, the responses we received from Manzillions were mostly positive.

Akash, a Kathak student, mentioned that with the additional time saved in commuting, he can complete the pending online courses he had on his wishlist for a while.

Vandana, one of English teachers who teaches mini class for students below 14 years, says that the children are absolutely loving the online classes. They have not faced any difficulty and are enjoying the online interaction with their classmates.

Vipin, a Photoshop student, says “Our Manzil photoshop class is going well, we are currently doing it on Zoom call. Online classes are a great way to learn/teach, especially in current times. For classes where devices (like computers/any musical instrument etc) are not required, this can be very helpful in saving time and money on the commute, especially for folks who come from far. Since these sessions are online and can be attended from anywhere, these can be particularly helpful for those who cannot be available on any particular day due to any reason without missing out on a class." He further describes the challenges that he faces “although there can be some disturbance at home, that can be controlled and managed. The challenge I see with classes like ours is that you need another physical device (like computer/laptop etc) to learn and not everyone has access to these devices at home. Therefore whatever they learn, they cannot practice it and without practice, learning does not make much sense.”

Contrary to the above, Kajal Rai, a student as well misses the personal interaction of a physical classroom. The lockdown has made her appreciate and value the learning experience of a face to face interaction even more.

Suraj and Puja, both music students, have started to appreciate “family time”- something that they didn't even realize was amiss in their lives. Family members could now witness and support in the learning process, which resulted in emotional bonding in most situations but stronger policing in some!

Niranka, an English student, has been spending her time helping the community along with her family. Every morning their day starts with feeding the birds followed by the street dogs. They are also helping their neighbors overcome the fear of Corona by educating them on the precautionary measures.

Being based in Delhi one cannot ignore the benefits of the air quality. Niranka mentions how the shutting down of industries and vehicles has made such a huge difference to the air quality. One can finally breathe clean air.

While Manzillions steered their way around the lockdown to continue the learning process, there were several challenges that they faced.

The students had to constantly struggle with the lack of solitude at home and internet connectivity issues. In addition, not everyone had access to devices (laptop, smart phones) which are pertinent to online learning.

Vishal, a theatre student, expressed the challenge of phone batteries dying out quickly and the constant use of the mobile leading to a headache. 
Some students expressed concern towards irresponsible citizens who refused to follow social distancing and put others in danger. 

Samiya, an English practice student has expressed her frustration about how some people cannot be reasoned with and tend to put themselves and others in danger. While she understands the importance of daily wages, she greatly stresses upon the measures the government has taken in order to help people. 

While the world continues to struggle, some of our students wonder - Is learning, relaxing, and spending time with your family the worst problem they have ever had?

No comments:

Post a Comment