Himani Narula,
Expert View

Going back to school won’t be the same experience

By Dr. Himani Narula, Developmental Pediatrician & Co-Founder of Continua Kids

 What challenges are faced by primary class students while attending classes in schools after adapting to the online class format?

The way the education had happened in the last year has been a complete shift, switching to online classes from physical classrooms was a tough drive. Education is not just about information delivered to students via screens. It is about a lot more. And most of it takes place through the social interactions in a school, with peers, with the teachers. Since online classes have begun, all that has been cut out. Now with schools gradually opening up the children need to go back to school but with a set of norms to follow. They have to attend to the classes sitting at a distance, wearing mask, washing and sanitizing their hands, children may not be able to share their books, notebooks or stationery. Children have to maintain a social distance during the school hours. Movement outside the classrooms has been restricted to maintain the distance. Schooling is happening on alternate days in half strengths to prevent crowding. Making schools safe places and helping children and the school staff adapt to the new norms and guidelines shall be important and may be challenging at the same time. Children have been waiting to go to schools, however going to school in the post pandemic era is not going to be a cake walk.

How difficult it is for standard I and II students to adjust again to the old form of physical classes? What can be done to make the transition easier for them?

Going back to school with different set of rules and regulations to follow, is not going to be the same experience as always for children. Some students who were facing a major challenge following the curriculum on the online method feel a little more comfortable understanding concepts directly from the teacher are happy about the schools reopening. Getting back into a routine, waking up early, uniforms, staying away from gadgets is something that children will need to habituate to. Strictly abiding to social distance, sitting and talking from a distance, wearing masks, limited movement in the school and sanitizing the hands-on regular basis and abiding to these rules is going to be a different experience and a challenging experience for children. Students of all age groups are waiting for their schools to open in full swing and for life to come back to the pre COVID times however we need to keep building the resilience and help our children cope up with the changing ways of life and learning. Being less demanding and more accepting about the challenges that students are facing will help them cope better with the changing times. Building like skills and resilience by role modeling a disciplined and simple life can help our children cope better. Keeping them motivated by sharing the positives of each scenario will keep them up and high and excited about doing things differently and accepting the changing times.

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