BIS #6189 Don Bosco Chinchwad COVID-19 academic report

by Father Vivian deSouza for BISMumbai

The global pandemic COVID-19 has severely impacted people, especially students. At Don Bosco Chinchwad, even as the pandemic lockdown was effected in March, the management decided to resume training activities from 22 May, through the online mode. Listed below is a short summary of the 06-month, March 2020 to October 2020, activity-training-participation, during the pandemic-lockdown period.

On 22nd March 2020, the official lockdown came into effect. Prior to the lockdown around 55% syllabus of various trades was completed and students were preparing for their mid-term assessments. Since then, till date, the re-opening of schools and colleges has not been permitted. The teaching staff were trained to handle Teams, Zoom, and Google Meet and asked to enrol students for the online classes and resume online learning so as to complete the remaining syllabus. Till date around 90% syllabus has been completed. Monthly mock tests were conducted at the end of each month to evaluate the progress of each student. The records of students’ attendance, assignments, and test results were maintained for inspection audit. Also, different cultural activities were organised (engineer’s day and teacher’s day) online. Apart from the daily teaching, routine staff were also involved in many different project activities such as renovation of labs, upgrading infrastructure, maintenance of machinery, vehicles and workshops.

The staff at Don Bosco Chinchwad have created their own videos through the YouTube channel to reach to the students ( Learning videos, including various powerpoint presentations on each topic, were also shared via WhatsApp groups to the students.

In the earlier stages, the response from the students was satisfactory, as the staff were in continuous contact with students as well as parents to get them onboard for the online classes. Around 70% students responded well to the initiative and participated in the online classes and mock tests. Later however, more problems occurred as some students faced internet connectivity issues, financial problems and lesser understanding of the concepts through the online mode. All these parameters affected the participation of students, thereby with only 50% student-participation by August-end. The annual exam timetable was scheduled and circulated by the DGT and NCVT which again awakened the students, and participation numbers began to increase, once more.

Trainers were asked to ‘work from home’ for the majority of the period in between the strict lockdown and requested to complete theoretical sessions through online classes. Every evening, a daily report of the activity was submitted to the Principal with relevant data such as attendance, video links, ppts, topics covered, etc. The admin staff and few of the ancillary staff were asked to come to the office premises, for routine work, with strict COVID-19 sanitisation procedures in place.