During COVID – 19 outbreak lockdown was declared in late March 2020. School closures at short notice created severe disruption, principals had to mobilise the teachers to teach remotely with almost zero preparation. It was a great concern for the administration as the impact on pupil progress was widespread, with fears that home-schooling would widen the attainment gap among the children, especially for a district like Jhargram. The pandemic situation affected and impaired the systems and processes which the school administration was accustomed to use in order to lead and manage institutional performance, and it has created barriers to existing mechanisms for providing moral, social, personal and professional support and motivation to their entire workforce i.e. teachers, staffs and others.

However, while online pedagogy does a great job of supplementing offline education, it does not serve as the latter’s replacement. The digital medium can’t replicate the interpersonal interactions that schools facilitate by bringing together young children from different backgrounds and cultures. In essence, they act as a melting pot of ideas and perspectives that serves to broaden the learners’ perspective. The online teaching process is fraught with challenges that leave teachers overworked since it demands practical and refined digital skills. Low and irregular student attendance, lack of attention by students, apprehension for technology (especially among older teachers), poor internet connectivity, and, in most cases, the added pressure of household chores, have made online teaching a daunting task for many teachers.

The teachers are left with no options other than to accept the challenge and the ever-increasing demands of pedagogy. He/she has to be a multi-task facilitator and improve different aspects of their practice, such as teaching, student assessment, and curriculum designing, while simultaneously up-skilling and re-skilling themselves to meet the higher standards of education. The student expectations are huge. So, teachers can’t afford to be complacent. They have to stay ahead of the curve to provide world-class education and break new barriers as well.