The lockdown has pushed several schools in Hyderabad to go online, just like many educational institutions in other parts of the country. But, the shift is not just in the teaching-learning process but also in conducting their student admission in a virtual way. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and fears about schools reopening, several children have been admitted through virtual tours of the campus.
The lockdown started in March, the peak stage of the admission process. However, some schools were quick to start online admission from the month of April itself. The admissions for the current academic year have been extended due to the lockdown and took place till September 30.
Principal Caroline Diane Ross from Springfields High School said, “As soon as the lockdown began, we started offering an online admission process for the students. This process already existed, as we have been taking in international students for the past three years through this. This year, several local students have also been admitted through online admission, and now they are attending classes online.”
Explaining the process, Caroline said, “Initially, parents contact us through our admission helpline number that is available on our website. Through this, we arrange online meetings with the parents, be it through Google Meet or Zoom, based on the convenience of the parents and students. And while we are interacting with the students, we also take the willing parents for a virtual tour of the school, so that they can make their choice depending on the facilities available.”
A similar trend is unfolding in international schools and even schools which charge modest fees, according to experts.
Speaking to TNM, President of the Telangana Recognized School Managements Association (TRSMA), Yadagiri Shekar Rao, said, “The admissions in several schools have taken place online as there was no other choice to begin the academic year for new students. As nobody is allowed to go outside in the lockdown with COVID-19, parents and schools opted for online admissions.”
Also commenting on the continuation of online classes, Shekar Rao said, “Parents and students have become used to the online classes, as the process is more streamlined now."
He added that several schools have come up with their own mobile applications through which students can take their exams, attend classes and track their progress. Some schools are also using third party applications.