The country is grappling with the coronavirus pandemic, new cases being reported each day. That brings parents and education experts canvassing on the possibility of declaring 2020 a “zero academic year”, which means children will not have to undergo the stress of schooling this year and would be promoted to the successive classes without exams. This cause has found support among parents, education experts, and educational professionals alike. Most of the parents want the schools to be re-opened once the Covid-19 dust settles. Parents are of the opinion that they will not risk the lives of their children by sending them to school too soon, where social distancing might not be followed.
The Challenges of Digital Learning
As the educational institutions remain closed since March 2020, on the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, parents, policymakers, and some government officials in the country are concerned about the success of virtual education and the penetration of digital learning. The concerns arise as many rural areas do not have a basic infrastructure framework for internet connection. Smartphone availability is also a concern among many families. Many remote villages, coastal districts are facing challenges to access digital learning which has been limited due to the lack of necessary equipment and internet connectivity.
Virtual Learning has caused mental trauma to the students who have a feeling of being left behind if they are unable to access online classes. This can be well understood by the fact that one student in Kerala, committed suicide. Experts have pointed out that virtual classes are not an alternative to classroom education. In a survey conducted, only 60 percent of respondents feel that online classes are an alternative, this number could be even lower if this survey included parents living in rural areas. Affluent parents living in urban cities with children studying in private schools push for virtual classes. Parents of children who are studying in small schools don’t have the necessary devices like laptops or smartphones to let their kids follow online classes
Addressing Parental Stress
Parents have been very concerned about the ongoing pandemic and how would this change affect the children. A vast majority of the parents almost 89% are worried about their child’s wellbeing and they are not supporting the reopening of the educational institutions till the Coronavirus scare is over. Many parents have expressed concerns with regards to sending their kids to school, they assert that till a vaccine or medicine for the pandemic is not invented, they will not send their kids to school.
Counseling psychologists say that parents are more concerned about their child’s well-being than their education. More than 60 percent of parent’s support that 2020 being declared as a “zero year”. Most parents are concerned saying that it will not be easy for young minds to maintain handwashing, social distancing guidelines and that sending them to school will be dangerous.
The case for Reopening Schools
Coronavirus cases continue to rise. Meanwhile, the news of schools reopening has increased concerns among parents and teachers. Consider this, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has asked for parents’ opinions. In a letter directed to education secretaries, the MHRD ministry has directed them to get parental feedback on when they would want the schools to reopen and what changes can be introduced to ensure children’s safety. In the contrary, most of the parents’ associations are demanding that the schools must not be re-opened, and the entire academic session must be declared a zero-academic year.
Although children’s education will be being affected, but parents are opinionated that nothing is more than life and want schools to reopen after 21 days post a zero Covid-19 case is detected in the country.
Virtual Consultation on Gigadocs
Health is Wealth and life has more value than anything else, thus it is more important to value our children’s life and health. Protecting children from this dangerous pandemic is critical. We assert that it is not a correct decision to start school until the cases of Covid-19 reaches the magical figure of zero.
Stress is a common factor across parents and discussing your concerns to a psychologist will help you evade the fears of the ongoing pandemic and how it will potentially impact your child’s academic year. Reach out to a digital psychologist on the Gigadocs smart practice management app.
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