St Xavier’s Collegiate School
In March 2020, the academic year 2019-20 and the board exams were being conducted and we were looking forward to and planning for the academic year 2020-21. Then the schools were closed as the world faced a calamity that did not have a historical precedent and affected the entire world.
All the academic institutions including ours were clueless as to the impact of the pandemic on academics, co-curricular activities and most importantly on the mental wellness of the young minds. The primary thrust of Jesuit education has always been the children and their mental health. It was a challenge for us to run the school in a manner never experienced before – that is online. Keeping the school running from the academic point of view was not the only challenge – the main challenge was how the students would adapt to a life without physical presence in school, without teachers, peers and fields to play on. Another challenge facing us was teachers who used to teach so efficiently in chalk and talk mode but were not experienced with online teaching and technologies. We organised several training sessions where teachers were trained on the online mode of teaching and learning. Our coordinators and computer teacher along with the systems administrator were of great help during this transition.
We, by our collective effort, have been successful in imparting education to our students so that no one was left behind. We not only conducted online exams but also celebrated Teachers' Day, Children’s Day, X-uberance and undertook several other online activities. In short, we celebrated life amidst all challenges. We strongly believe in St. Xavier’s collegiate school. The work must go on - as it has been for the past 160 years.
St Xavier’s Collegiate School.
Everything was new to everyone and we struggled to make the best of the situation. Months passed by and then, it was September 2020. We teachers were sad as there was no possibility of having a physical programme for Teacher's Day but we were delightfully surprised when the senior students had a virtual programme for us.
The next event in our school calendar happened to be our event of the year, X- Uberance 2020, an inter- school fest of the highest order involving 18 distinguished schools of Kolkata which was conducted fully on the virtual platform. From creating the app to conducting 28 events involving more than 900 students online was a mammoth task but our students were so technically smart that they came out of this challenge with flying colours. In November, teachers give back to the students their love by celebrating Children's Day. We put up a grand show on the virtual platform and on a personal note, we had a fun time in shooting our videos for the first time.
Meanwhile our online classes and tests continue. Both the teaching and the student fraternities are keen to return to the normal classrooms, enjoy the ambience of our school, feel its pulsating life. Now with the welcome arrival of the vaccine, we intend to get back soon to our second home, our school, and prepare the students for their board examinations.
St Xavier's Collegiate School
The last year of school is always ‘the’ year. It is the year, which holds the most significance in a student’s school life as he/she leaves the protective bubble and enters the real world. The student-teaching community and the administration headed by our school principal have tried to find ways to try and make the best out of all the resources available at our disposal to make this situation better for our students.
Although an online class school model had been efficiently set up, there was an attempt to recreate the conventional physical world virtually. We were able to successfully conduct several intra-school events. Gradually, we decided to broaden our spectrum to the inter-school level.
Inter-school fests provide a natural step towards aiding the growth of interpersonal and management skills, bringing different schools together and providing an exhilarating platform for students to display their talents. For this reason, we were proud to present ‘X-Uberance ’20: Far but Together’. Taking place over the course of two days (October 17-18) and catering to more than 900 participants from 18 schools across the city, X-Uberance ’20 was our attempt to unite education with innovation and redefine the boundaries of possibility. In a pandemic which pushed everyone to their limits, we would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to all our teachers who had to emerge from their years of teaching methods and acquire new skills to teach online. Keeping in mind the recent developments about the vaccines, we can look forward hopefully to the future.