“The Lord is a refuge
For the oppressed,
A stronghold in times of trouble.’’
The Year 2020 – 2021 will be one that shall be remembered for posterity for one particular reason only - The Coronavirus Pandemic!
Nothing had prepared us for the onslaught of Covid-19. March 2020 marked the month of national lockdown. The whole world was brought down on its knees under the grip of an invisible virus.
After a few days of anxiety, we rose to the occasion by chartering a plan of action. We had opted for the Microsoft A3 programme a few months earlier, thus, we began our training. We were trained to conduct online classes during the non-existent ‘Summer holidays’. After many experimentations and a few setbacks, we were finally ready to take on the challenge of virtual classes.
We conducted an online orientation programme for both students and parents to adapt to the expectations of virtual learning.
We reopened our academic session online on Monday, the 8th of June, 2020. After the initial teething issues, the teachers and students adjusted well to the new normal and classes have continued to date, in the virtual mode. Teachers shared innovative ideas to break the monotony of online teaching. All celebrations, competitions and activities moved online and there was a lot of camaraderie between the students and teachers.
Our parents conducted a series of Career Counselling sessions by inviting experts from different fields. The robotics team shared an event with students from Denmark. The Junior College debated with a team in England.
We extended support with e-learning devices and laptops, wherever it was felt necessary. The parents appreciated the hard work of the teachers who shared their creative lessons with the students.
As I reflect on the months gone by, I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, students benefitted from family bonding while on the other, they were missing the social interactions with their peer group. Whether teachers or students, the IT skills of all the individuals sky-rocketed!
We empathize with all the families which went through a traumatic time of suffering from Covid, and others that went through the hardship of losing jobs and businesses.
If there is one lesson we have all learnt, it is that change is inevitable and we need to adapt to it.
I am most grateful to my Vice Principals and Teachers who have shown tremendous fortitude and patience. I join the girls of St. Thomas House in praising the teachers for their selfless duty in these times of adversity.
The Junior College has a new Vice Principal – Ms. Diamay Menzies and she has been ably mentored by Mrs. Veena Thadani. We have only been able to give her a ‘virtual’ welcome so far but we shall remedy that soon!
I pray for good health for every member of the St. Mary’s family. We have learnt the true wisdom of the proverb ‘health is wealth’.
I am grateful to the Members of the Governing Board who are always there for us. The administrative and ancillary staff worked quietly behind the scenes.
I thank the parents and students who have encouraged and supported us through this pandemic.
I thank the Lord who has watched over us through these difficult times.
God bless us all with good health and peace of mind.
Sujata Mallic Kumar