Hyderabad’s school introduces eye yoga for digital eye strain

Hyderabad: Online classes have now become a mainstay of education as schools are shut for an unending period of time.  Hyderabad’s schoolgoing kids are doing wonders in the new normal. 

Can you imagine that they competed in some global virtual contests, emerged victorious and won prizes? Under these testing times students produced a nukkad naatak virtually by following all the government restrictions, on Corona Safety from the comfort of their homes. 

Have any parents ever imagined that their wards at this very young age will participate in global webinars and interact with children from across the globe and share his/her views? 

These and many possibilities were made possible by the city’s St. Peter’s High School at Bowenpally, Secunderabad.

“Amidst the hue and cry about online education and problems associated with it, we made digital learning during these troubled times a very joyful, fun and happy learning experience for our children,” shares Dr.Suvarna Kuppa, Principal, St.Peter’s High School

We have been taking on the challenges and pushing ourselves hard to produce some nice digital learning experience for our kids, shares the Principal.

“Some of the initiatives include Eye Yoga to help reduce eye strains, virtual music to reduce stress, cyber security to educate students to use the internet safely, higher-order thinking skills and many others,” adds the Dr. Suvarna.

“The digitally-strained eyes of young children get a lot of relief from Eye Yoga. We know yoga improves the functioning of many parts of our body. It can also improve the functioning of eyes. And we were the first to introduce this since the day one of our online classes, much before people started playing hue and cry of training eyes,” shares Dr. Suvarna, Principal of St. Peter’s High School, Bowen pally. 

“The eye yoga is our very unique initiative in this new normal,” announced Dr Suvarna. It is the set of specific exercises that engage all of the ocular muscles that support eye movement. These exercises help improve the flexibility in these muscles and help students focus better.

Common eye yoga exercises include: deliberately and repeatedly looking up and down, then left and right and etc. The school even celebrated International Yoga online.

To break the monotony, to make online classes theyhave been trying out our best to engage children so uniquely that they don’t get.  Due to lock down 500 million students now home bound.

People have been working from home, sharing information and trivia, jokes, learning new recipes and DIY ideas, showcasing their talent, online workouts, virtual indoor marathons and last but not the least kids having their online classes. And it is important for schools think out of the box and make these learning experience very happy. Though initially there were some reservations from the parents for the online classes, subsequently everybody got serious.

The kids wowed the school, parents, and the international community with their skills

A kid participated in ‘ISRO Cyberspace Competitions 2020’ and presented a SLV Model, another kid participated and won best delegate award at UNEP (United Nations Environment Program). A tenth grader won special appreciation from the UNHRC (United Nations Human Rights Council).

In these pandemic times, our students have exhibited skills in multiple platforms across the globe and won laurels. Undeterred by the adverse environment, they showcased their best talent and proved that nobody nor any situation can stop a determined person states Dr. Suvarna. 

Prakalya, Grade 4 participated in ISRO’s Cyberspace Competition and presented a model of SLV. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has organised ‘ISRO Cyberspace Competitions 2020’ (ICC -2020) to nurture the young minds.

Ms.Niharika, a Grade 9 student, won the best delegate award in UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) as a delegate of Belgium with a cash prize of 3000 in a national inter-school MUN (Model United Nations) conference where the judging panel consisted of TOI and Hindu newspapers. She was asked to draft resolutions and also speak on topics ranging from environmental issues to COVID 19 crisis in the moderated caucus. NHSMUN is the world’s largest and most prestigious Model UN conference for secondary school students.

Uditi , Grade 10 won special appreciation for her position paper as a delegate of UNHRC (United Nations Human Rights Council) while Ms. Anusha from Grade 7 won laurels for her online presence as a delegate.

Another important aspect was sensitising children about cyber security. Now, with lessons shifting online, schools are becoming increasingly vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Keeping this in mind we have adequately educated our children and their parents too were about the same.

To avoid fatigue and pressure learning, the online classes are placed so well that there is a long break between the sessions so that children can cope up. 

On top of it all, students have come up with a novel idea. A team of eighth-graders has scripted and created a nukkad naatak in Hindi to educate public on the corona pandemic. The beauty of the activity lies in the fact that no two performers practised together. Maintaining social distancing norms, the practice and recording were done completely online.

Further, we have gone many steps ahead by giving alternative assignments to challenge students’ HOTS’ (Higher-order thinking skills).

HOTS is a concept popular in the West, moreso in American education. HOTS include synthesizing, analyzing, reasoning, comprehending and application.

Some of these HOTS assignments include: Demonstrations, Debates; one-minute presentations; group discussions; open book questions; solve crossword puzzles; participate in online quizzes; construct model/device related to concept learnt. They discuss some questions posed by a mentor or any query raised by any student, contests, quizzes, and etc.

The school gives a lot of importance to inculcating effective questioning by students. Questioning makes students involve more, becomes interactive, and develops listening skills among many. 

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