Misha, a student of class nine in a private school of Delhi is going through a strange mix of excitement and worry, all at the same time. With the corona cases fast receding in Delhi, government has asked schools to get back to physical sessions. Misha is happy but more than the excitement she is fearing for how she would perform in her physical classes.
While she is obviously very happy to go back to her classroom and meet her friends and teachers, she is more anxious for an undefined fear of going back to physical academics once again.
The fears are many-how would she prepare for physical exam, will she be able to use the pen once again or whether she would be able to face her teachers’ queries etc etc.
Whereas Arjun, Misha’s brother, two year older to her, isn’t much bothered about how he would respond back to his physical schooling. He has only his friends in mind and his extra-curricular activities and many co-curricular activities which he has always been involved in school besides academics.
Misha and Arjun are a set of siblings who represents millions of other children like them in the world who have been confined in their homes for past almost one year due to covid 19 pandemic and have been schooling online.
While they all understood and realised these online classes would not be permanent and physical schooling would be resorted back anytime as soon as covid 19 vanishes, they could not realise how would it be to go back to school once again.
While there is no denying the fact that there have been anomalies in the quality of education and the academic gain and loss during pandemic year, online schooling has been a thorough experimentation with the system.
Anxieties in the children like Misha cannot be overlooked. It is also important to ponder how mentally and emotionally children are prepared to get back to physical schooling once again. There are many questions to deal for the parents, schools and the authorities.
How would it be to go back to school once again?
Are the children exited? Are they apprehensive? Or else. It is important to understand. As a society none of the question should or can be missed.
There would be many more millions of children like Misha who may have the similar anxieties of going back to physical schooling. It is important to address the similar or any other kind of fear.
As children prepare to go back to their normal school schedule the findings of how they feel are indeed very surprising!!!
While many of the children are happy to go back to their classrooms, to meet their friends physically, hang around and indulge in extra-curricular and co-curricular activities there is this fear of physical academics which has been looming large.
Fear of physical academics in children post pandemic
Most of the children have reasoned out that they are not very sure about how would they get back to physicality of the education?
These are very important and significant out-comes which came out after speaking to many children of leading schools of Delhi who belong to well to do and educated parents and study in well-known schools.
These children have had an uninterrupted online education with adequate facilities and all the support from their schools and the parents around. The fear of going back to physical education is clear and apparent when the children speak in confidence.
This is another anxiety which none of us could have even imagined and which needs attention amidst our focus on securing ourselves during covid 19.
- Biggest fear is of physical examinations because majority of the children accept that online examinations have been a farse and they have missed out too much during their last academic year in terms of knowledge. How would they cope back due to missed knowledge when teachers would expect them to know the last years’ lessons?
- Children have not been using pen and paper for full one year. They have a fear of going back to using pen/pencil and notebook studies once again. They would take some time to get into the habit they admit.
- They have been sitting in their own physical comforts of home and hardly venturing out for a formal schedule. It is not going to be easier to get back to early morning school schedules.
- Many children openly accept they have not gained much in academics through online education whatever good the schools wanted to achieve or whatever facilities their parents could provide them
- The biggest problem many children are not shying in accepting is the loss in their concentration span due to long screen times.
Above reasons are important reminder for our educationists and parents to take note of. It is extremely important to make our children feel once again comfortable about schools and academics away from the online world.
While it may be too early to make any conclusion about the gains and the loss of the online education what should not be missed and overlooked is the anxiety among the children and various other undefined fear of going back to the school.