Dear Teachers/Parents/Students,

Life isn't always easy and when the hardships and dark times seem to seep in, we tend to lose faith in God. Many of us are going through difficult moments in life such as financial crisis, loss of job, health issues and bereavement of dear ones etc .. But the silver line is, many of us fought against all odds and are back to normal health. God has been with us in difficult moments too.

The national lock down imposed to check the spread of the novel coronavirus literally and suddenly shut down our schools indefinitely last year. The worst affected section among the people, is our students. All of a sudden the entire sy~tem of education was interrupted. The situation as of today is forcing us again to continue with the online classes. But the introduction of online learning by schools was a commendable initiative which actually ensured that learning remains on track.

With e-learning entering into the second year consecutively in the country, we need to ask, are children receiving in-depth education in digital mode or is it just that they are spending a little too long time in front of the computer or mobile phone screens? Are children happy to attend online classes? It has come to light that many parents have to sit with students o lower classes to make the online classes workable. But it is often no,t feasible with most working parents. In several cases, teachers too have been stressed out' due to unfavourable reactions from students and parents. These are genuine queries and concerns by the stakeholders in education. We have neither easy answers nor easy ways out.

Digital learning is a good option to keep school going children engaged but we admit, it has many limitations: online teaching takes time; it cannot replace many of the informal social interactions children have at school; apart from the excitement present in the real class room, the greatest advantage of face-to-face teaching is eye contact; Both are woefully absent in e-learnmg. The apprehension and anxiety of many parents is that online classes have increased the screen time of students. Before lock down, if most youngsters spent time on social media/online games, now they seem to spend additional time staring at their mobiles.

However, it would be unwise to discard the concept of online classes Jock, stock and barrel. At a time when education has been thrown off the track, it is the only viable and alternative. COVID-19 has in fact given an opportunity to test the waters. To make the online teaching-learning method all of us need to focus on the new normal.

Let us face the future with confidence and placing our trust in God.

May God bless us all

Sr. Sheena