This spring, walk with Christel House students and teachers like Ashwini, Sharmila and Asha at Christel House India.After ten months of remote instruction, high school students at Christel House India-Bangalore (CHI) can finally say they are “going to school” when they begin learning each morning. CHI returned to limited, in-person classes last month as the local government eased coronavirus restrictions.
We walk with students like 12th grader Ashwini and her teachers, Sharmila and Asha as our extended Christel House family comes together this spring for the Virtual Walk Around the Christel House World.Joy & Gratitude
“The moment I heard school was reopening after ten months, I was very happy because I missed being in school and learning from school,” said Ashwini. She not only missed her classmates and teachers, but as a science student, she missed the CHI labs. Her teachers were also relieved to return to school in-person. They said that although they were grateful to teach virtually while school was closed, “the happiness walking into a class and meeting the students is different.”CHI maintained all regular programs and services for students like Ashwini, understanding that the pandemic meant families experienced even greater need. Ashwini told us, “I am grateful to my school for being with me even when I didn’t come to school. I was taken care of like I was in school.” She started each day fully fed and ready to learn, thanks to the groceries CHI provided. Her friends in her neighborhood were unable to go to school because of the pandemic, but Ashwini said, “I was able to attend school on the tabs with internet connection provided from CHI.”
Virtual learning was not without its challenges, especially in underserved communities. Ashwini’s classes were often interrupted by her neighborhood’s poor internet connection. She reported that it was difficult to concentrate. Despite the obstacles, Ashwini’s Christel House teachers helped her adjust.
“My teachers at Christel House are more like a friend to me. They were always there when I was in need of help academically and personally,” Ashwini told us.CHI teachers also experienced technological glitches and connectivity challenges. “With the help of the dedicated tabs, we were able to connect,” said the teachers. They talked to students and their parents frequently. Teachers found students excited to talk each time they connected.
Connecting for a Future of Resilience
“The pandemic taught us that learning is always possible and doesn’t stop,” the teachers reflected. Christel House India-Bangalore students and staff will carry the lessons of the pandemic into brighter days on the horizon.
The personal strength and resilience Ashwini built up during the pandemic was a lifelong lesson equal to any of her online classes. She said, “Learning from home taught me a lot. I was able to stay strong in any crisis with the support from my teachers and school.”This spring, walk alongside Ashwini and her teachers. Be fit, have fun, and raise funds that can support students like Ashwini.