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A child with her grandmother during the virtual session. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: There were new lessons learnt in bonding as Indian High School (IHS) in Dubai held a virtual ‘Grandparents Day’ last week with around 500 KG students and their grandparents joining online classes.

Teachers and grandparents exchanged pleasantries while students eagerly introduced them to each other. The grandparents also joined in class activities, which at times meant singing and dancing as part of the lesson. The school community also shared several posts on social media to share their experiences and memories of the first such Grandparents Day, held on January 27, by IHS.

In some cases, the families were together in the same home while in other instances they were separated by long distances — and the restrictions around the COVID-19 pandemic.

‘I felt like I’m in school’

Rita Parikh, grandmother of Tvesha Parikh, said she felt she was back in school after all these years. “It was an immense pleasure attending the class with my granddaughter Tvesha on the occasion of Grandparents Day. The complete event was wonderful and I felt like I am back to school. It will always stay as a sweet memory in my life. I really appreciate your efforts in overall grooming of my granddaughter despite the distance learning,” she added.

‘Need of the hour’

A parent, Charu Karthick, said it was moving to see grandparents and children come together in such a way. “Honestly, for us this event was really the need of the hour as both kids and the grandparents were spending time together. They are the ones who have had very less social interaction during this pandemic and thus this event was really special. They both enjoyed it to the core,” Karthick added.

‘It was so emotional’

Another parent said the event was an opportunity to celebrate grandparents, “one of the most important players in our little ones’ lives”. R Niranjana Karthikeyan said: “Grandparents always have a special place in a child’s heart and they are very close to their souls. I, as a parent, felt the happiness, positivity and that pure love throughout our session. It was so emotional indeed.”

‘He burst into tears’

Rekha Palani, mother of KG pupil Vishnu, said she missed her own parents but was glad to see other grandparents join in. “Their moves reminded us of my parents and so Vishnu burst into tears. They too share an inexplicable bond like how other children did today [on Grandparents Day].”

Nice to e-meet each other

Both maternal and paternal grandparents of Ramith, another KG student, said in a message conveyed through Ramith’s mother, Neha Vishwas, that “they were happy and excited” to have joined the session and finally see and talk to Ramith’s teacher, Harsha Ma’am, who is often mentioned by the student.

‘We understand the value of family’

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A child with her grandmother. Image Credit: Supplied

Punit MK Vasu, CEO, The Indian High Group of Schools, said the pandemic has pushed us to find innovative ways of sharing experiences. “Now, more than ever, we understand the value of community and family. We understand how meaningful it is to be together. As we continue to make wise decisions that prevent and slow the spread of COVID-19, we all are becoming more creative in finding ways to be together, while remaining apart. We found this as a perfect opportunity to show the elderly how truly their grandchildren love and care for them.”

He added: “The virtual meet session just struck the right cord with everyone. The students, parent and the grandparents were all so ecstatic. Different emotions could be felt and those whose grandparents couldn’t join the session or who have lost them were also able to feel and share the bond with other grandparents. It was like a one big family celebration.”