SCHOOL MATTERS!Publish Date: 17-May-2021 06:12:47
I write today as a
parent of two adolescents. I have one child in Grade X of 2022 and one who
completed the First Year of College – online - last week. The emotions that I observe
and the vent of frustrations that I am subjected to lately,( am getting good at
indulging them) have got me thinking about each child young or old who is
trying to comprehend and adjust to this New Normal.
The year 2020 went by with not much tantrums, probably, due to the novelty, the hope and most importantly the subdued effect of the pandemic. The hope at the horizon was also all so beckoning and kept their spirits high. Schools did open for a few months in some parts of the country, for some age groups raising confidence and bringing some smiles. But the situation since March 2021 seems to be getting from bad to worse. Board Exams Cancelled for Grade X, postponed for XII and the huge uncertainty of College Sessions and Entrance Exams, the student fraternity is taking a huge mental brunt.
There is sickness and loss in families and to add to it the dilemma of career and future, loss of peer fellowship and comrade all is taking a toll on the mental health of the youth. Social skills and learning that need to develop at this stage of life have been put on the back burner. We may not see the effects today but we WILL feel the consequences down the years.
Why, just the adolescents, I was asked? True. Ask the parent of the child who was to start School, or who was preparing to move from any one grade to the higher one. Ask any parent and they agree that the children have lost more than a year of education. Even the parents who have run from pillar to post to ensure cancellation of exams, postponement of exams, shutting down of schools agree that these were measures for the safety of their children and they completely understand the long term affect it may have and reluctantly agree about the consequences.
So when some say that Schooling can continue online, what’s the harm, I say to them, flow of information and knowledge may continue, yes; but Schooling CANNOT.
WHY? What does that School Building give you beyond Academics?
Ø Social Behaviour --- Interaction with same age compatriots, interaction with an adult who is imparting knowledge, associating with people older or younger outside their immediate family helps to instill sociable practices such as empathy, friendship, participation, assistance which turn out to be important in their adult hood
Ø Life skills --- Learning the difference between right behavior / wrong behavior. Understanding the socially accepted behavior. Developing skills of leadership, team work, accepting differences, appreciating differences all can only be learnt in the formal setting of a school.
Ø Physical wellbeing --- The energy of the child needs to be expended – but monitored and directed. The sports class, the dancing class, music class, art and theatre class etc all are the melting pot for this energy. Not to mention the various life skills those are imbibed along the way.
Ø Over all Development --- We use this word so often, its cliché now. But no amount of virtual interaction can give the child that complete growth – physical, mental or social.
School thus, my dear friends, is not just a building, not just a system demanding money and fee, it is a very living organism that ensures the complete and absolute development of our children to become the happy, smiling, proactive, compassionate, innovative, enterprising, healthy, prosperous, successful, responsible citizens of this planet.
Play your part well --- stand by your child’s Institution, stand by YOUR alma mater, stand by all the teachers --- they need our support and gratitude. I for now, await with my children for the day they leave home once more and go out to live their adventures.
Pray it come soon!Socila Shaing:
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