Technology is best when it brings people together, irrespective of the pandemic that socially distances us.

An exciting technology-aided classroom greatly complements classroom learning and is specially beneficial in the present pandemic situation. On 10 July 2020, students of class VIII, with their teacher, Ms Shivani Kaushik attended a Mystery Meet with Ms Tomoko Oyama and her students at the Kansai Ohkura High School in Osaka, Japan using Skype. The students though in lockdown period, were enthusiastically prepared and smartly attired for their first mystery meet.

Marking the beginning of the session with ‘Namastey’ and ‘Ohayou gozaimasu’, both the sets of peers engaged in a rapid fire question session to try and guess the nationality of their counterparts! The students at both ends were elated to be posed with intelligent and logical questions and steadily arrived at their clever assessments!

While such a platform helps students connect globally, it also inculcates learning through sharing, understanding and communicating culturally distinctive perspectives. The children from Osaka, spoke about ‘Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri’, a local festival in their city. Simultaneously our students presented a vivid description of how India is culturally diverse and thereby celebrates a variety of colourful festivals through the year. While the Japanese students spoke about Mount Fuji, our students elucidated upon Mt Everest, the Himalayas and and its rivers as a source of life for the land. The cultural exchange was not bound to words alone, students of TFS displayed visuals of different attire and cuisine from across India.

The exchange touched upon the fight against COVID 19 in both countries. Ms Sukhmeen Cheema, Acting Principal, TFS, spoke comprehensively on ‘Learning from home’ while Ms Tomoko, spoke about the way their school functions with strict follow ups of medical guidelines and governmental operational procedures.

To bring liveliness to the serious discourse, our students decided to insert melody in the conversation. The students in Osaka of sang out their national anthem followed by ‘Hum honge kamiyaab’, by TFS, especially relevant in the present predicament.

Time constraint saw the session end but not without with many promises of renewed engagement in the near future. Reluctantly the children on both sides waved their goodbyes.