As coronavirus took the world by storm this year, schools in India have been shut-down since March 2020. Students and teachers had to acclimatize to remote learning techniques to continue with course learning through online classes.
But now, one of the most challenging and divisive decisions of the coronavirus pandemic is
whether to reopen schools this fall. According to UNICEF, more than 1 billion students are still out of school due to nationwide school closures, but more than 70 countries have announced plans to reopen schools. According to media reports, the Indian Government is also planning to reopen the schools in a phased manner from September 1 and November 14, 2020. However, some states are against the decision due to the safety of the students. Many states, like Delhi, Haryana, and Karnataka are in support of the decision.
But life during the Covid-19 pandemic can be quite challenging for parents and teachers alike. So, here is a guide to all the factors that are keeping parents and teachers awake at night.
The dilemma of Parents
A section of the parents believes that their children have thrived under online classes learning because a lot of school-related triggers like bullying, anxiety, and depression have disappeared. But these parents are also aware that their children need a more holistic form of learning that essentially includes social and emotional learning as well.
But the situation is more complicated than it looks
The parents have admitted that the safety of their child and the family is the topmost priority.
Children in today’s generation are suffering from countless diseases, some curable, some not. Some have chronic diabetes, while others may have asthma. In such a scenario, if the pandemic continues at the current rate, parents are determined not to send their children to school.
The dilemma of Teachers
Online teaching is no longer a fancy EdTech term but a necessity in today’s times. There was a surge in Google search for topics such as as- “how to teach in online classes”, “best online teaching applications”, “best online teaching software” and so on. Teachers who initially struggled to use a simple smartphone now had to rise to the occasion and master online teaching that ensures that the learning curve of the students does not get disturbed.
Modern-day classrooms are not just brick and mortar structures. All you need is a Smartphone/Laptop and an internet connection to make your digital classroom. But more than anything, online classrooms have made the teachers realize the importance of classroom management. Taking attendance, making presentations, marking online tests, all of it needed a proper classroom management system. It led to rising demand for Unified classroom management software during the pandemic.
In the wake of covid-19, teachers have been trying to make use of various creative and innovative teaching techniques that meet the demand for remote learning and boost the engagement levels of the students attending these classes in isolation.
Even though some states of North East India are making covid-19 tests mandatory for teachers before reopening the schools, the majority of the teachers are still skeptical of joining back their duties. They feel they will be risking their health if they go back to school. It is especially difficult for teachers who are senior citizens and are suffering from chronic diseases. Their age makes them vulnerable to the virus.
Another concern that the teachers have is, even if they sanitize the schools and take safety measures before reopening, it will still be difficult to make the students comply with the social distancing norms. It is difficult in Indian schools that already have packed classrooms. Further, they fear that safety measures will act as a deterrent to teaching.
Education Ministry and the State is yet to decide and declare a concrete judgment on the nationwide reopening of schools. It has led to; students, parents, and teachers remain in a state of confusion about what lies ahead. But after listening to both sides of the party, it seems to be leaning in the same direction – schools need to put a hold on reopening it. So, we could explore more on how technology can be an aid.