By Ravi Singh Negi
Dehradun, 19 Sep: There has been closure of schools for about 19 months due to COVID-19. During this period, children have not only suffered loss of studies but their overall development has also received a major setback. As per estimation of UNESCO, every month away from school results in a learning loss of 2 months for a child. Schools, however, endeavoured to cope with the academic requirement of the children by launching online classes but this was neither sufficient nor successful due to many reasons such as lack of face to face communication between teacher and student, network problems in remote areas, and lack of expertise with teachers in handling the related communication system. Also, online classes are a makeshift arrangement that cannot be prolonged for session after session unless there is an emergency. Covid cases have come down and can be kept away by following required measures issued by the health department.
Physical classes are a necessity for the overall development rather than just academic development of a child, which is the basis of success. Many parents are still in a dilemma about sending their children to school because of safety concerns. The school administration has to prove on the ground that the environment is safe for the students, teachers and staff. The administration has to ensure proper cleanliness of class rooms, toilets, drinking water and all places in the school accessible to the children. Students will also have the option of online classes.
Another positive aspect of reopening of schools after COVID is the additional learning of special cleanliness and sanitisation for students. The health of a child is of utmost concern but education and overall personality development can also not be ignored which is possible only from adequate socialisation, for which school environment is the best platform.