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SCS Chessore bags national award for Innovation in Edn

SCS Chessore bags national award for Innovation in Edn
DIMAPUR, AUG 24 (NPN) | Publish Date: 8/24/2020 1:11:59 PM IST

Innovating learning tools adopted by St Christopher School, Chessore in the ongoing COVID-19-incuded school shutdown to ensure continuity in education have won the school the maiden “Pallikkutam National Award for Innovation in Education, 2020”.

Constituted by Rajagiri Media, Kerala, in association with Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode, Federal Bank Ltd and Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, the Pallikkutam National Award had 55 participants from all over the country. 

The first prize comprised Rs one lakh and a citation, while the second and third prizes comprised Rs 50,000 and Rs 25,000 respectively. 

According to the organisers, the objectives of the award are to honour the educational leadership of the nation who managed to provide education despite the disruption caused by COVID-19-induced lockdown, showcase the innovative ways in education as a model for other institutions to follow and to spread the praxis of excellence in education and make the quality of education universal.

Started by Diocese of Kohima in 2015 due to the specific difficulties faced by people following communal clashes, St Christopher School is a middle school up to class VIII and has about 500 students with 12 staff. Though the existing infrastructure is bare minimum, the diocese is trying to build a proper building against all odds, especially considering its remote location and very poor road condition. 

Despite the lockdown, the school management under leadership of Rev Fr Loyola Anthony motivated the teachers to realise that learning is not confined within the four walls of classrooms, but can also take place at home with proper guidance. But being located in a remote area, technological interventions like virtual classes, online tests, use of smartphones and televisions were not feasible. Hence, the school authority relied more on direct intervention by allowing children to do more home-based activities to learn and grow by exploring their own creativity. 

An awareness campaign was carried out to prepare them to combat COVID-19 through skits, placards, poster and booklets. For those who could afford smartphones, notes and assignments were shared and online tests conducted through WhasApp. For those who had no access to smartphones, school office was kept partly open every day for few hours by following SOPs of the government so that they could collect prepared notes, assignments and project works and gather information on various programmes initiated by the school. And the result was 100% participation.

The syllabus for learning included written literary competitions, mathematical puzzles, aptitude tests, general knowledge, drawing and colouring, handwriting (English and local dialect), essay writing, folk story writing, moral story writing, composing poem in English and local dialect, translation from English to local dialect and vice versa, etc. There were also talent competitions that were captured digitally such as recitation of folk songs and stories in English and local dialects, recitation of moral stories, hair styling, dances, dress, action songs, speech, arts and crafts, treasure hunting that included identifying materials and utensils at home, making list of them and explaining their usage, writing summary of reading books, fancy dress, karate and yoga show. The best performing videos will be uploaded in the school’s You Tube page.

The overwhelming positive response of the teachers, parents and students was proof of the initiative’s success. The children were happy to be at home and were occupied without being bored as they proudly displayed their talents before their parents and teachers, even as the parents too were actively involved in the learning process. The children had more time to play, learn, experiment and be creative. 

The teachers were encouraged to give more activities seeing the enthusiasm of the students. The parents were happy to see their children positively engaged at home and in close proximity, and felt more relaxed in teaching the children to dance, sing and capturing them in videos. 

The innovation adopted by St Christopher School authority thus enabled continuity in education of children. And the fact that a middle school from a remote and inaccessible region bagged the first prize is testimony to the school’s commitment to learning through innovation.

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