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Nepal Don Bosco Schools Innovate to Educate in COVID-19 Times

By Father Pulickal Augusty
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Mumbai, Jul. 20. The Salesians of Don Bosco at Bharoul-Chakraghatti, East Nepal, managing 02 schools are conducting classes for 1500 students using 42 hired rooms, each called a community classroom. Every community centre with 10 students in attendance help to overcome the COVID-19 restrictions. The entire 46 member teaching faculty of both schools and the ancillary staff are ensuring the sustained consistency of this innovative educative method which started on 16 July 2020.
The schools in Nepal were closed for the past 03 months due to COVID-19 with uncertainty still reigning supreme. The 02 Salesian principals Father Binu Jacob and Father Leslie Pereira, decided to innovate, as the school premises cannot be used to conduct the classes. Hence, classrooms were hired in the neighbouring villages and since community level classes were preferred to online classes due to the poor financial condition of most students, this novel method of classes proves successful. Currently, the teachers cover the first lessons of the syllabus and plan to continue the lessons once the schools open. All the major subjects such as English,Nepali, Maths, Science and Social Studies are taught.

The salient features of this alternative teaching and learning method is ensuring the possibility of all the students of one village attending the classes in their own village centres. 95% attendance was recorded on the starting day, and eventually every single student of the school participate in this programme actively. The approval of the education department of the local administration was obtained before starting the classes and the strict following of the government directives like social distancing, wearing a mask and the use of the sanitizers, etc., are ensured.

The parents and students are happy that this arrangement is made. The success of this alternative system of conducting the school at different venues is definitely an innovative method to teach students at this time of lockdown, uncertainty and chaos. The parents and students have responded positively to this initiative.
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