By Dr Preethi Keerthi D’Souza
Jun 18: COVID-19 has been a time to witness, and a time for which we were not mentally ready. The future road of COVID seems long or short.... is still not known. But we must move on from uncertainty to certainty.... that is life.
Has stress increased or decreased, for the middle-class people is a debatable issue, however, one category of individuals who have an additional fear grip in them are ‘parents’ and the question they have is ‘When will my child go back to school?’ On the contrary, there is another question in the minds of parents. ‘Should my child, really go back to school when things are so uncertain?’
In the early times sending children to a school by parents was with a prime objective that my child must be an educated person and grow up with values. Then came a time where sending a child to school became a fundamental right and this has to be applauded. In recent times, in the urbanized places in particular sending children to a school is yes a step towards attaining knowledge coupled with many other ‘IF’ conditions. My child shall go to a school ‘IF’ – as per the preferential sequence.
- If The school is an English medium school
- If The school is a private one
- If the school has a good reputation and if it matches my status
- If the school has all other extracurricular activities
- If the school provides added facilities
- If the school has qualified teachers
- If my child can cope up with the structure and practices of the school
Very sorry to note, the purpose of schooling is somewhere lost in the process of satisfying the IF conditions and that is to make the child knowledgeable and confident.
In the COVID crisis, we see a change in the attitude of parents. The question earlier in the minds of parents was when will my child go to ‘THIS’ school and now this question is ‘How safe is the school premises and when will my child go back to school?
At home, it is seen that parents are spending for the very first time in some urbanized houses quality time with kids and extended family since March 25. April was a month of anxious wait and the focus was on health and safety of all. In May 2020 health and safety are still a priority for the children but elders have slowly compromised on safety but the worry on children and their well being is there. June 2020 is a time where schools reopen, but we are not sure till when we will have to keep our children away from school. So schools have not opened, which is the right decision in these valuable times.
Governments are in a dilemma on the reopening of schools and amid all decisions, parents anxiety as to ‘should my child go back to school in these uncertain times?’ is on a peak. We live for our children. The purpose of every activity is to see that our children’s future is secure and they are happy. Hence nearly 77% of the parents are not keen to send their child to school.
Schools in France opened in mid-May and due to the rise in corona cases in children, the schools were shut immediately. Just a situation for us to ponder... If a child is infected, irrespective of the age they shall be isolated from us, parents. What will be the state of the child and the mental agony of the parents? Words cannot express those feelings and fear.
So instead of saying the statement in the process of disciplining your child ‘when will you go back to school’, it would be emotionally right for the parent to home school the child. Be with them in the process of study, whatever be their age.
- Get books of various interests for them and read it for them and also with them.
- If your child has online classes (which are conducted for students of VIII STD and above) be with them if possible. Do not attend the online classes with them to judge the teacher and her skills, but to be a motivator for your child.
- Plan the day for them and give them a time table that has a balanced activity of study and play.
- Stick to a schedule and teach them home skills.
- Activities on gardening, pet care and indoor games with the elderly is always an encouragement.
The question- ‘when will my child go back to school’ must be less questioned and as a responsible parent, we must spend time with our child because the school has come home. #home schooling.
COVID-19 has been an equalizer of all times. Teach your child not to waste time and you too keep yourself engaged in productive efforts. Interestingly, the expectation and status worry on the school in the parents’ mind has taken a backstage and the desire to make the child a valuable asset with values and knowledge has taken a front leap.
Thanks to COVID.
Dr Preethi Keerthi D’Souza is an assistant professor in the department of Commerce, Mangalore University.