I remember when I first joined Ekya I was terrified. Till then I had only been to a playschool. The school was big and new to me, but the warmth of my teachers, friends, and the school itself slowly helped me fit in and I started enjoying going to school. Every new day was so exciting for me.
Fast forward to 2020 before the lockdown. The lockdown came unannounced, and that was scary at least the first week or so. Everything came to a grinding halt; I hadn’t had a chance to say bye to my teachers and friends in fourth grade. There was no sharing of notes with my friends on how we would spend our summer vacations nor was there the excitement of packing bags and going to my grandparents’. One day seemed to stretch into another; punctuated with only the fear of the unknown-COVID 19.
And then Ekya did something marvelous, the Community Connect programs that were held, kept us engaged and we enjoyed it!! That went for a good part of what would have been our summer holidays and then we all had a surprise for us in-store. The school was starting online!
I was excited even though there were quite a few online activities I was involved in, there was something still amiss. School online was a definite break from the 3 monotonous months of being cooped up at home. But once online classes started the teachers just really radiated positivity and gave me a sense of purpose. Once online reopening was announced there was great excitement in me to know who my classmates would be, who the class teacher/ other subject teachers would be, which division I would be in. Then there was the excitement of connecting with new teachers and a bit of sadness that some of my old teachers wouldn’t be associating with us daily.
This online schedule partially made for not being able to go to school physically and meet all my teachers and friends in person. I still miss rushing into school, dropping my bags, and going to play with my friends before assembly time. I miss running up to our huge library and asking my librarian if I could borrow a book from the library. I miss sharing food with my friends during breakfast and lunch. I miss the birthday celebrations and stuffing my pockets with a few extra sweets!
However, this new system has taught me some great things. Initially, it was a challenge to get into a “home -school” routine, but now I feel that it has made me more responsible, inculcated the skill of listening even more attentively to teachers, making sure assignments are done and submitted on time, making use of free time more effectively like the SWT slot, which in turn helps me have enough free time to pursue other activities. I also have a definite schedule for weekdays and weekends and it makes sleeping late on weekends and waking up late so much more special.
It has given me something to look forward to every day, especially the Saturday breakfast meetings with my friends and teacher. I could go on and on, for me it’s Ekya forever!!