The pandemic thrust all of us into a sudden change. It was all unexpected and still is; how we as humans have been handling and coping to this situation is indeed phenomenal. We might as well become case studies in the future and set examples of how the human race can handle unimaginable situations to their advantage!

It is remarkable how much education has changed and quickly adapted to this sudden change. The digital mode of education, exciting for some, not ethical for some, has been a matter of dispute for many. The positive notion that we can find is that this is a means for children to continue their education. To continue schooling, albeit virtually, to get the seeds of knowledge sewn into them, staying at home, when it is not safe for them to step out, is indeed nothing less than a boon.

As for us adults, how much we miss being in the physical office- the occasional crack of a joke by a colleague, a tease or a compliment from a work-mate, fun activities which give every one of us the feel of an extended family and life-long friendships which are formed in the process! Given safety being the concern, offices are reduced to working quietly for long hours at home, which has been a lonesome journey of work and video calls for many professionals. To that let us see the challenges which the young ones are facing and what they might be missing! School nowadays are much more than just studies and serious activities. More so, for a Gaudium gecko! It is a plethora of unique activities combined with academics.

That apart, the bond that the children form with their classmates, their peers, their teachers, subject teachers and even support staff is incomparable. The colourful classrooms, the beautiful art room which instils creativity, the sports teacher whom they all adore, the homeroom teacher who is nothing less than family, the physical hi-fives, the cute little dances, the vibrant performances and celebrations, the assemblies- I am sure the Gaudium geckos would be missing them badly. Given a chance they would run and hug their homeroom teacher, run around the play gym wildly, try and catch one of those rabbits, swans and Guineafowls who freely roam in the campus, and give hi-fives to the caring support staff! It is a difficult time indeed, especially for these young ones.

Virtual schooling has given them the school back, albeit virtually. Now they see their Homeroom teacher through a screen- they sing and dance and play giving virtual hi-fives learning beautifully in the process though; through the screen. All these young energetic geckos need is the loving personal attention and care which encourages them to happily listen to their teachers, participate in the online class and learn in the process.

Was it imaginable if this pandemic situation had hit us (a few decades ago), when there was no access to the internet? Probably we would have gone missing from school and stayed home reading whatever books we had, watching the Doordarshan and listening to the radio. Aren’t these young ones lucky that they have online schools going on? Safety being the topmost priority, the young children are able to do all school activities, learn, bond with their classmates, all at the safety of their home. The teachers too miss meeting the young geckos in school, I am sure, but they keep no stones unturned when it comes to teaching through this digital medium. From quickly adapting to online modes and ensuring proper pedagogical practices, it has been a remarkable feat for the Gaudium teachers as well!

Here is to hoping that the pandemic ends soon and the young geckos enjoy their time in the sprawling campus of The Gaudium School and get reunited with their teachers and friends. Till then, the virtual mode of studies is The Way to Go!