Everything is open now, and there is no more lockdown. Things are now returning to normal slowly but steadily.
This, in effect, does not apply to the schools. While few have opened, many are opening up, and some are still undecided. The lockdown has harmed education, with children losing valuable learning time. Although the schools adapted to online teaching, parents' satisfaction level has not been as per their expectations.
There is another category of students scheduled to start their academic journey, the first-time school-goers, i.e., the kids eligible to go to Pre-Primary School and Primary School. Their problem is entirely different from those who went to school before the lockdown. With no disagreements, I strongly acknowledge their problem. And the parental trauma post lockdown for preprimary and primary schools kids is very strong.
You can broadly put such parents in two categories:
1. Those happy with the school opening are eager to send their little ones to school at the very first opportunity.
2. The second category is the parents who are happy but not sure they want to send their kids to school as they have not yet been vaccinated against Covid. These parents may hold back their kids till they get vaccinated before sending them to school.
The majority of the parents of the first category are head-on with two problems, firstly selecting the right school and the second being financial. However they would like to give their child the best possible education, but they cannot afford the high fee of the big branded schools due to the financial setbacks they have been through in the past two years. These parents struggle to find the right combination of high teaching standards and affordable fees.
Moreover, another issue bogging them is how their child, the first-time school-goers, would adjust to the new environment. This could have been a natural feeling in a normal situation, but it is not so in the present situation after a lockdown of almost two years. The parents’ concern is that the child has been locked in the house for a long time and has hardly seen new faces. Has not had the opportunity to interact with people other than family members, in fact, not even their neighbors. They have not made any friends, which, generally, the kid would have made if things were normal.
Parents are stressed out. They know the sooner the schooling starts, the better it will be. They do not want their kids to lose any more of the crucial learning time. They are looking for serious help. The help is not in any near sight. It is like a never-ending tunnel with no light at the other end.
As I said earlier, I genuinely acknowledge their trauma.
As for the second category of parents who do not mind holding back their kids till getting vaccinated, I agree with their fear, but at the same time, they should re-think. If you ask a parent, you will get an answer, ‘I am looking for a Primary school near me with all Covid protection facilities and the one that strictly follows the norms". The parents should rest assured the schools are equally affected due to this lockdown and certainly would not risk their premises being locked down due to the Corona infestation. They will certainly take all the necessary measures to keep the kids safe.
About the solution to the problems of the first category of the parents, I advise them to look for a school that has the plan to introduce the first-time school-goers to a pre-session settlement period of at least two to three months. This will have distinct advantages:
1. This span of two to three months will help the kids overcome their inhibitions of being with a new crowd, whether teachers or other kids.
2. This will allow them to get prepared for the actual session to start.
3. It would also care for the parents’ concern about how their child would cope.
Keeping in mind the requirements and concerns of the parents, i.e., affordable schooling, quality teaching, and expected post-Covid protocol and providing a settlement period for the kids, Mastermind School, the best primary school in Bicholi, Indore, has introduced one such schooling plan for the pre-primary kids for a period of 3 months starting from January to March 2022. The best part of this plan is it is a free schooling plan. And interestingly, they have named it as ‘Happy Induction Program.’
For detailed information, you could contact the school authorities.