Namaste! Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!! May the festivities of the season bring happiness and cheer to you and your family! I would like to address a few points of importance with my dear parents. Some concerns that we as educators and the first point of contact of your children in school are faced with. The pandemic has changed a lot of things for the students. This change that has happened in the past 20 months is more than one could handle in a lifetime. Online classes, no free play, no sports , no friends, to be torn away from extended family, sedentary lifestyle and the list goes on. Before the pandemic we professed not to hand over devices to students before a certain age. As a school we also suggested that students before the eligible age not have facebook or social media accounts. Some parents were very mindful not to hand over devices to children at all and online learning reversed the whole equation. In the midst of the pandemic, I definitely believe, school and school work got them grounded and allowed them to have a routine in the muddled up scenario. Looking forward to a daily routine, meeting friends online did keep them away from a gloomy and depressing situation outside. However, it has not been without its pitfalls. Now 20 months into the pandemic and children getting back in class, we are encountering situations that will take a couple of years to mend.
Too many distractions has taken away the focus of children from the minute details that we must allow them to dwell on. A class of 40 minutes is too much for children to handle, in the senior children we find that they are unable to focus, they ask to move out or they get fidgety, they are unable to maintain eye contact and the like. In all grades, we find writing a big challenge; it’s as if children have forgotten to hold a pen! The lines in the notebook no longer exist! These are one of the few examples I am quoting on lack of attention to detail. How can you help us overcome this? The best way is to give children time to recoup. It has not been easy for them either. Don’t nag or comment, but help them by respecting their shortcomings. We also realise that there are very few parents spending time with kids at home, this has also led to a lot of insecurity in children. We also find many parents quite insensitive to the needs of children. A few adjustments in schedules at the personal front are needed to accommodate these very important needs that parents are just turning a blind eye to. To cite a few examples, children are attending classes while on the move! They are in a vehicle, traveling and log into a class. Tell me, how much do you think a child can assimilate? Does the child have to be attentive to being in a vehicle, attentive if he has put on a seatbelt, ensure the door is locked properly or concentrate on a math equation concept being taught in class? In a normal situation what would you have done if you were travelling and a child had to miss school? Take the school’s consent (or not) to travel. The child would enjoy his holiday thoroughly and get back to class and cover the backlogs. At least the child wasn’t doing both and as a result missing the enjoyment of either. What is better learning for a child than traveling with family? Enjoying with parents and siblings, spending time with relatives or learning and assimilating about a new place. Is it not better for the child to look out of the window and learn from the sights and sounds around. That I think is an experience which he/she would remember for a lifetime. Similarly, with assessments starting, we have parents requesting the student writes online since they are travelling, there is a wedding in the family etc etc. Is the child expected by the parent to lock himself in a room to write an assessment while the house is full of guests and there is music and festivities around? Let’s stop playing around with children. They are already confused, intimidated & are losing their confidence and as parents you are unconsciously adding on some more miseries to them.