How primary school students in Ahmedabad continued learning outdoors

The outbreak of the global pandemic COVID-19 has affected millions of people across the world. With the norms of physical distancing becoming the new normal, schools, colleges, and most business centers were closed to contain the spread of the disease. It changed the pattern of education as we know it. While, on the one hand, students could not attend school and missed out on a significant portion of their school life, the online mode of teaching also had several difficulties. For instance, students could not access online classes due to the lack of resources or had problems understanding what the teachers said because of the new teaching format.  

Thus, the students in Ahmedabad sought a novel method of learning during this phase. Even while the Government had relaxed the norms and opened schools, the capacity in each class was reduced to 50%. The question is, what would happen to the rest of the students? Thus, students in Ahmedabad sought outdoor learning during this phase. The teachers in most preschool in Ahmedabad started using outdoor public areas like parks to teach the students in the open air. Such a teaching mode had several benefits.

While, on the one hand, this changed the traditional way of teaching, it helped students who could not attend online classes. It is because most primary school students, especially in Government aided schools, came from families from the economically weaker sections of society. Thus, they could not afford to buy smartphones and attend online classes. These students could then visit these open-air classrooms, preventing them from missing out on essential courses.  

The open-air system was also beneficial in teaching students various things based on practical examples. Teaching with such practical examples in the traditional classroom system was challenging. Hence, this new teaching mode helped attract students and keep them engaged in their studies. 

How did the change come about? 

With the outbreak of the pandemic, the schools had to shut down. Hence, most schools took to online teaching, which had several challenges. While, on the one hand, there was an issue with network and connectivity with constant video buffering, students also failed to cope with this sudden change. Furthermore, students missed out on critical practical explanations that were readily available in the traditional mode of teaching. Thus, the teachers from various preschools in Ahmedabad conducted surveys amongst the students to develop this open-air teaching mode in public places.

While this new mode suited students from economically backward sections better, it also ensured a more contemporary and engaging way of teaching. It not only made learning more interesting but also ensured the infection rates were minimum. It is because students could maintain the proper distance from each other in the open spaces, thereby reducing the chances of being infected. Hence, the open-air teaching mode was a safer and more engaging way of teaching the students. 

Better student performance

The open-air classrooms brought about better student performances than the online mode. It is because most students joined these online classes from their homes which often distracted them. Hence students found it challenging to concentrate in such an environment. The open-air class system helped improve student concentration and their performance compared to virtual classes. They also found the method of instructions more attractive which helped them concentrate and be motivated to study.

Conclusion 

The COVID pandemic has indeed affected students. However, teaching and studying did not stop in most schools because both teachers and students found new ways of teaching and learning to fight the challenging time. The open-air classes were one of the most significant examples of innovative methods in these trying times.