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Home » Covid-19: Logging on to learn new skills in turbulent times – News
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Covid-19: Logging on to learn new skills in turbulent times – News

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Working mother Sera Rifai has shifted from the traditional pedagogy approach to online education now.

While most people are in a de facto mode of staycationing, many are trying to seize the moment.

Sandwiched between the tedium of everyday living and overwhelming home-and-work schedules, the Covid-19 crisis is subtly reminding people to have patience, slow down and enjoy life’s simple moments as they happen. And the best part is that many of the residents utilise this time inside their homes to learn new things with the help of online lessons.

Working mother Sera Rifai has shifted from the traditional pedagogy approach to online education now. Her three-year-old daughter Mila is excited every morning when her mother switches on the laptop. The toddler remains busy exploring different yoga poses through creative stories, exciting games and engaging activities.

“She enters a world of stories, yoga and fun. Therefore, she is thrilled. I believe we need to provide them with an encouraging and nurturing environment at home, especially now as the schools are shut. We have to keep them productively busy,” said the Lebanese expat who lives in Dubai.

Reiterating how these activities are like stress-relievers both for her and her child, Sera said Mila looks forward to her online ballet class post-lunch.

“This is unknown territory and we don’t know what lies ahead, but as a family we need to focus on normalcy. It’s important for children to be moving and doing something during the day, they need engagement. So why not utilise this time to learn something new? It’s good for brain health too.”

Post-millennial Nandini Bhattacharya is a Grade 5 Kathak dancer. Having pursed this Indian classical dance form for years now, she feels something is amiss if she can’t make it for her practices. So, despite being homebound, she continues to prepare for her upcoming dance exams in May.

“I have been learning dance for seven years now. The actual classes have been suspended, so we have shifted to virtual learning. In my head, I am a little confused. It feels like a holiday, but then again, not really,” said the fourteen-year-old. “I and my friends enter into a conference call through the Zoom app. A few times we’ve actually danced for 40 minutes with our instructor,” added the student of Gurukul Dubai.

Abu Dhabi resident Zoya Sheikh is learning new life skills from iPhones and computers. Taking YouTube tutorials online, this Indian resident always had a knack for acrylic and oil painting. With more time at hand now, she utilises her otherwise busy mornings to pursue her passion.

“I am learning the advanced technique of acrylic and mixed media painting through online classes. One has to remain sane mentally in these days of social-distancing. Therefore, we must continue with distance training and app-based learning during this weird time,” said Zoya.

Reinforcing the need for digital learning and free virtual activities, not just for children but even for the general public, is probably the need of the hour.

“Developing a habit of digital learning is the trend of the future. It is no wonder that so many students are opting to take classes and earn degrees from this non-traditional format,” said Zubair Ahmad, head of HR and administration, Springdales School Dubai.

Continuing to be willing to adjust on the fly, keeping calm and learning and teaching important lessons about what really matters to everyone, in this trying time, is crucial.

“Learn together as a family. Learn more about your house and about each other. Learn new things online. The world is moving in that direction and those who are still old school and averse to technology can seize this opportunity. They are the ones who are now compelled to learn what is ‘online’ and how beneficial it can be in these unprecedented times,” said Dr Ameya Ghanekar, chief learning officer – Orange Zebras, Strengths Coach and TedX Speaker.

It is difficult but not impossible to forgo some of the pleasures and routines for now. It’s said some of the most successful people face reality head on in crisis situations. That’s what exactly needs to be done.

Facing uncharted choices, people need to quickly accept, adapt and adjust to combat the coronavirus challenge.

nandini@khaleejtimes.com





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