Happy to share that Arya Gurukul is now a Microsoft School. Arya Gurukul School, my school, has been a wonderful experience for me ever since I have been a student. Today, I can pursue my creative interests through events such as Annual Days and competitions. It instilled in me a scientific attitude through the massive event called Manthan which brings students of various schools across Mumbai on one platform to share ideas, debate and collaborate. My school ignited an immense love for sports in me through its state-of-the-art sports facilities and amazing coaches. I owe it to my school to turn me into a confident and able person, with a greater understanding of other people’s emotions and behaviours.
Arya Gurukul, Nandivali has added another feather to its cap- of a Microsoft School by nurturing its technological prowess into being a school that will churn out a generation of learners aware of tools that will be equip them to better handle the needs of the corporate world.
How did Arya Gurukul become a Microsoft school?
Digitization is everywhere, and it does not leave behind the education sector. Long before we became a Microsoft school, my school was using Digital teaching aids in class. This made our classes interesting and engaging. We could visually experience the content of the topic on the digital white boards. This made our classes very interactive, too.
We knew that our teachers were working harder than us to get trained on these new technologies. Eventually, they become experts in using them. We even found out that our teachers were getting trained in other IT skills, such as using e-mails on a software called Microsoft Outlook. Our other staff members were training themselves into using many other software that helped them in their day to day functioning.
And then COVID-19 struck!
Amid all this, when things were going smoothly, and we were getting prepared for our exams, the highly contagious coronavirus was spreading silently in our country. We were unsure of the repercussions of this initially. Parents feared sending their children to school and the school authorities were in doldrums if they should continue with their classes. And then came our Hon. Chief Minister’s instruction asking all schools to shut down.
Arya Gurukul school, now a Microsoft School, followed this directive of CM Uddhav Thackrey. Initially, we students were all happy. Who doesn’t like holidays, right? But we were still not sure if the school would postpone or cancel our exams and how our assessments will happen.
It was a Saturday, when my parents got a message from the school about a ‘Consent Form for Online Exams’. Wow! This sounds like fun, I thought! I was anyway prepared for giving an exam and online exam would be a whole new experience altogether. My parents immediately gave their consent for it and I started preparing for the next day’s examination.
Many questions were raised!
However, as I was preparing for my Mathematics exam, many questions popped up in my head and in the heads of my classmates too. What about the graph questions? How do we draw diagrams? Will we have to submit the working sheet as well?
Similarly, my friends from other classes who had Sanskrit and Social Studies exams had their own set of queries. Then the next day a reassuring message came from our Principal. It was a list of FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) that addressed all our questions and they put us at ease.
I was touched to see that our teachers were working equally hard to make our online exams possible for us. They had changed the graph questions. So now we just had to refer to the graph and give our answers. For other subjects, it was in a Multiple-Choice format and an OTBA (Open Text Book Assessment).
Some people had only one device in their home and 2 children, so the school kept the link open for 24 hours. That meant that we could give our exams anytime within the 24 hour time frame.
The Path Forward…
It was amazing! I felt responsible for my own studies. I felt grown up! Digitization is everywhere. My parents use it to do everything from buying groceries, movie tickets to banking. So why should education be left behind?
After the exams, our school has been regularly sending us practice sheets called “Home Connect Practice sheets” and has been conducting “Online Classrooms” too. During these times of lockdown, it is indeed refreshing to meet our teachers and classmates digitally for a few minutes every day. It also keeps us in touch with our studies. That’s how we are recognised as a Microsoft School.
After this, I feel like we are actually prepared for our future corporate life. You know, my school even gave us software worth 28,000 free! I really feel that Arya Gurukul’s approach to our education is world-class. From here on, I am ready to face my future with much confidence and elan!