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Back to school in the post-pandemic world

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By Rakshitaa Prabhakar

Nobody would have dreamt about the recent global pandemic. It taught us several lessons in a period of two years. The younger generation witnessed a huge disruption in their educational journey.

In more than 190 countries, approximately 90 per cent of students were out of school. This led to a massive change in their lives, learning and overall well-being.

Post Covid-19, at least one positive change remains: a much greater appreciation for the importance of public schools. As parents struggled to work with their children at home during school closures, public recognition of the essential role of schools rose. When students struggled to learn from home, parents’ gratitude for teachers, their skills and invaluable support increased.

Millions of children across India have now returned to school this summer. Many will face challenges due to health, economic or social consequences of Covid-19. Moreover, they are now required to engage with lots of activities both in and out of the school curriculum. Of course, it will be a tough task for them to adapt.

Kindergarten children are still not eligible for vaccination and are likely to be asymptomatic or experience only mild symptoms. They can still contract Covid-19, therefore, offline schooling yet makes their parents anxious.

Lack of outdoor activities in these years and long hours of screen exposure have led students towards health conditions such as obesity and eyesight problems etc. Children are now engulfed in the fear of the unknown. Returning back to school will pave way for greater trials.

Teachers will also need to complete the school portions in time, prioritise the curriculum and non-curriculum-related syllabi, lab practicals, sports trials, examinations and other activities pertaining to the overall development of their students. And so, the majority of us will agree that we have adapted ourselves to this changing situation.

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