KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - Media OutReach - 22 May 2020 - Although schools remain physically closed, considerable effort is being made to maintain students' academic momentum during this challenging time of the school year. St. John's International Primary and Secondary School (SJIS) has brought the entire learning experience online, with a fully structured virtual curriculum for both Primary and Secondary students. In fact, the online learning alternative was so effective that the school has rolled out 'online Open Days' to allow prospective parents the chance to experience SJIS' offerings virtually as well.
SJIS has an excellent reputation for its scholastic tradition, so maintaining the quality of education while protecting the health and safety of students was paramount. Suresh Dass, COO & Executive Principal, remarked that "as well as all materials being maintained for offline use, and current workbooks converted into Google Forms for instant submission and feedback ... we are planning fast-track revision sessions when we return to school as well".
The initiative, put together and programmed quickly to avoid as much disruption as possible, won praise from the parents. Although tricky to replicate a physical classroom learning environment, the technical teaching capability was enough to ensure productive participation amongst the students. Attendance amongst students have averaged more than 90%, with many subjects having a 100% turnout.
Ritika Chopra, a Year 8 parent, praised the proactivity of SJIS in "providing the right coaching to our kids via virtual learning", while Abu Mohammed, a parent of a Primary student, was delighted with the teachers' efforts to "provide individual attention, make the class as interactive as possible ... even engage the students through extra-curricular activities!"
As well as 'normal' lessons, SJIS also used the online opportunity to deliver alternative classes, workshops, and webinars such as "Creative Writing 101" as well as interactive art sessions.
Moving the school into a synchronous experience online for students was so successful, that SJIS have created a virtual offering for prospective parents in the form of a virtual Open Day. 15-minute sessions are conducted via Zoom, with information on the school's vision and mission, academic programmes and extra-curricular activities, as well as fee structure. Virtual tours can be conducted throughout the week, with participants encouraged to make follow-up plans for a physical visit on Saturdays, now that the Movement Restriction Order has been relaxed slightly. Student testimonials and a video tour are also available on request.
This prompt initiative from the school -- and the positive response from pupils and parents alike -- as well as the ability to react so proactively to a challenging situation, stands SJIS in great stead for a bright future indeed. 21st Century problems do require prompt technological solutions, especially in the face of the current pandemic.