Education Expert View

“Dear parents, the urge is to stop thinking that the schools are closed”

Syeda Tahera Sumbul Brainfeed

Story by: Syeda Tahera Sumbul, Subject Matter Expert on Positive Parenting @ IXL, Passionate Startups

Change is the only constant in this rapidly developing world. All species thriving in the lap of nature inherently develop defence mechanisms and build new, friendly strategies that support their process of adjustment and evolution. Prominently, what has stood the test of time is the “survival of the fittest”.

The recent outbreak of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic is one such situation that calls for thoughtful changes in the human lifestyle for better existence. It is time we show some kindness to ourselves and our mother nature. Changes that each one of us has embraced in our everyday schedule in order to save ourselves from the grip of this unforgiving virus have been an overwhelming experience. Never have been the symptoms of flu a reason for danger or panic for the human life. Earlier what was treated by a simple paracetomol has become a nightmare for the common man today.

But does the human race have a choice apart from making the best possible efforts for survival? Life goes on with its share of evolutionary changes. The good news here is that necessity is the mother of invention. Given the pandemic, kids are not allowed to attend their regular schools. Thanks to the technological developments, we all have screens of variable sizes in every household these days. Virtual classes can be taken conveniently. But the question remains… convenient is this arrangement for the children and the teaching staff.

Teachers are coping up with double duties. Making lessons and assignments every day, catching up with the syllabus even though it is difficult to maintain the same attentive span in a virtual session as compared to a regular one is challenging. Mentors of the young ones are finding it difficult to establish the teacher-child relationship which is very crucial for the learning process. Born with the natural instinct of making sure each and every child is grasping all the concepts well, especially the slow learners, teachers are craving that satisfaction. Being the homemakers or the bread earners of their own families, they have a fair share of duties in their own households as well.

Now let’s shed some light on the plight of students. Virtual world far from reality locked in their homes with almost no physical activity. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Constant nagging from parents to regularly wash hands, complete assignments and be on time for virtual classes without a uniform and classroom must be a little more than funny. Missing friends, no favourite lunch times, no PT sessions and trying to cramp up all that information delivered through a screen with parents hovering on their heads to make sure they pay attention- true struggle.

But an optimist always sees the glass half-full. Given the social distancing protocols, virtual classes have made it possible for the educational world to prevent itself from shutting down totally, unlike many other industries. Children are not losing their academic years. With a little struggle, they will be able to cope up with their syllabus. Along with the dissemination of knowledge, virtual classes are also keeping children busy in productive ways. They may feel the reality of the situation and how severe it is by just observing this change. Understanding a situation is the first step in tackling it. In my opinion, it is a win-win situation for all involved- the teachers, the students and the concerned parents.

The schools remain closed physically, but its soul is still dedicated to its duty. The teachers are teaching and the students are studying. Many parents are of the opinion that fees shouldn’t be collected since the kids are not attending school. This disturbs my flow of thoughts- our teachers are salaried. They maybe bread earners for their families. Not paying school fees may result in their monthly income chopped off. Taking into consideration the financial challenges many of us might be going through, steps should be taken to ease it for one and all.

Government and the educational ministry should be active in helping its people now more than ever. We cannot stop teaching- period. We need subsidies. We need government aid so that the virtual school may go on and also our educational staffs are paid regularly. Thankfully, the Delhi high court has passed on supportive judgements.

Dear parents, the urge is to stop thinking that the schools are closed. They are very much open. The process of education never stops. Apart from bookish knowledge, teach your kids to be empathetic, truthful, kind and resilient. These qualities may help them more than their degrees in life. Involve them in household chores, which are education too. Make them realise how important are those people who do odd jobs for us. Their presence lends us comfort. Let’s all respect the efforts of each of us in this well-knit society.

It’s time to join hands together to tackle this situation with the right set of knowledge and attitude. Have good hopes; take care of yourself and those around you. Maintain social-distancing but be close to everybody through the connection of love. Keep checking upon those around you who may be a little less privileged. Do good for others, for it will come back to you through unexpected ways.

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