When did you last visit a school? Well whenever you did, just visualize the scenario. It is a building that greets you with a lot of noise, the noise of students chatting, teachers laboring hard to maintain discipline in their respective classroom, the noise of students running around, playing, laughing etc. It is a building that has an aura of a very high positive energy.
Of late things have changed. There is silence all around. No more noise, no more sound of the thumping shoes of the children running around or the teachers teaching and giving routine instructions. The aura of energy is gone. You can no more see the kids rushing into the school in the morning or running towards the school exit with the last bell ringing. The usual sight of parents dropping and picking their children is also gone.
This is the sight of all schools without exception for the last four months. This is the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic. Hundreds of thousands of schools are closed affecting the lives of millions of students. There have been varied effects of this lock-down. With the fear of the children getting infected by the Corona virus parents have locked their children indoors.
All schedules have gone haywire. The kids are now deprived of all physical activities. They are spending a large amount of time lying on the beds or the couch. Their activities are now limited to the electronic gazettes. The kids are seen spending hours glued to the TV or playing video games on the mobiles and tabs. This is having a telling effect on their mental as well as physical health. While the diets of some kids have increased resulting in obesity and in some cases it has gone down resulting in kids becoming cranky.
This is no normal school vacation. It is a forced and prolonged vacation. This has created a huge pressure both on the parents as well as the kids. Due to the social distancing people are not meeting each other. While parents have been able to manage, the kids have been dearly missing playing and meeting and with their friend and peers. Although it is possible to keep in touch through video conferencing, this certainly does have the effect that in-person meeting would have. The children are feeling deprived and isolated. Their behavior has changed; they are showing tantrums that they did not earlier. The parents are losing their patience; violence at homes is being reported more these days. Parents have also been complaining of children talking less, isolating themselves to a room in many cases. These are signs of depression. This abnormal state of mind where fear, anxiety, depression along with the feeling of not knowing what to do, can lead to children to a stage where they might even think of injuring themselves.
The problem is not limited to only the children. The parents are facing the challenge of maintaining a perfect balance between giving time to the children and also managing the new norm of work from home. A neglected child could spend extra time with the electronic gazettes. This further adds to the anxiety the child already is in.
The fall out effect of the long lock-down in schools has been the challenge to make sure that the kids do not lose on the valuable learning time. To achieve this, the schools opted to start for online classes for the students. The sudden shift from a regular classroom to a virtual class has been a challenge for both the students and the schools. Not every home has a Laptop, a PC or even a Tab, the child has to attend the class on the micro screen of a smart phone. Often internet speed and connections interfere with the continuity of the class. Moreover, if the kids are from the pre-primary sections parents have an additional duty of monitoring the kids. This happens because of the limited attention span of the small kids. Congratulations to all the parents, especially the mothers for having been able to motivate and help their children in attending the online classes.
On the other hand, shifting from normal classroom teaching to online delivery of lectures is no less a challenge for the Schools. We need to appreciate the schools for having been able to upgrade themselves as per the demand of the hour.
Going online was an absolutely new experience for the teachers. Despite minimum facilities and not so hi-tech equipment, the teachers have delivered. They were always at the risk of being judged by the parents for everything, be it their teaching style and knowledge, their pronunciation and command over the language, their dressing sense and their body language etc. I sincerely congratulate and appreciate all the teachers involved in online teaching. They are all doing a commendable job.
Well, things are difficult for one and all. Every individual, right from the child to the parents, the teachers, the school administration, are doing their bit to maintain a brave face and fight out the challenge.
Again in the present situation, the children are worst affected. It is our joint responsibility to keep their morale high and do all the possible endeavor to keep them in the right frame of mind.
Well once the things are back to normal and you decide to enroll your kid in a play school, look for the best. The one that has trained staff to take care of your child, has dedicated and trained teachers, where hygiene in all respect is on the priority list and safety is everybody’s concern. I would suggest Mastermind Play School would be the most appropriate choice for your child.
Beautifully expresses the effect of lock-down on the education sector.
Yes great one lock down expression