Everyday school life continues to be strongly influenced by the Corona crisis. The elementary school has been open again since the beginning of September, and the secondary school since November 1. However, the Ministry of Education has reduced the maximum class size in our schools from 35 to 20 students. Therefore, 14 additional positions have to be created. After the long period of absence and homeschooling, the challenge now is to get all the students used to an orderly daily routine and learning rhythm again. In addition, the school material that the students missed during the pandemic must be caught up.
The Hybrid Schooling project, which introduces digital learning at the school, continues to develop. Test lessons are being conducted where teachers are testing the new ways of teaching with projectors and tablets on site in school lessons. The next step will be to test remote learning, where students are at home and are taught via the Internet. This in anticipation of if there is another lockdown. In addition, the electronic tools can also be integrated into the regular school day. Thus, learning videos, electronic quizzes and self-learning can be incorporated in the classroom in the future. Simple tablet computers are available for students.
Fortunately, the overall Corona situation in India has improved noticeably after peaking in April. The curve of new daily infections is flattening and the number of deaths is in decline. Despite the positive trend, India has the second highest number of infected people and the third highest number of deaths in the world after the United States. It is also estimated that the number of unreported infections is far higher than officially reported, as many cases go unrecorded.The national vaccination program is moving forward and the numbers are huge. For example, 650 million doses have been administered since mid-August. Despite the high vaccination effort, only 28% of the population has been vaccinated twice, which is not enough for widespread herd immunity.
To do something about the growing environmental problems in the region, the Executive Committee of the Shanthimalai Trust has included environmental protection as a separate program. In the future, the Trust aims to develop and launch projects that will advance much-needed environmental protection in the region. There is a great need in the areas of efficient use and treatment of water, reforestation, waste utilization and recycling. Dr. Rajasekar, one of the Trustees, is leading this effort. He has broad expertise and good connections to develop this program.