'Child’s Understanding of the Basics is a Major Concern'
Updated: Oct 18, 2022
Q. Is your child attending school regularly? Have they got masks and sanitisers from the government?
Parent: My child studies in class 5th and has been going to the school regularly since it reopened. Yes, he got a mask from the school but I gave him homemade masks. Along with these, I have also given him a sanitiser.
Q. Did you receive any instructions before sending your child to school?
Parent: Yes, we were told by his teacher that a discussion should be had with children at home on how to stay safe from the COVID-19 virus, how to wash masks and hands, etc. I take special care of these things!
Q. Are children being taught online? If yes, are you satisfied with the education provided through this mode?
Parent: The schools have reopened so teaching is not happening online now. But when children were being taught online, I think they learned very little from it because we also did not have any idea about online classes. I faced a lot of trouble, though I did learn all this later by asking someone. But I believe that children do not learn much online, especially young children.
Q. Have you noticed any change in your child’s interest towards studying since the schools have reopened?
Parent: Firstly, the children have forgotten what they had learned earlier, this is very concerning to me. Though teachers are trying their best to teach children, I think children have forgotten even the basics of Class 2 and 3, like subtraction, division, and reading. In my opinion, the government should first make a plan to cover these basics because teachers constantly face pressure to cover the future syllabus.
Q. Has your child received a uniform or scholarship from the school?
Parent: No, we haven’t received anything.
Q. Since the school has opened, have you been to the school as a parent to discuss the safety of the children or their learning level with their teachers?
Parent: Yes, I have been to the school many times because I worry about the safety of the children! At the school, we have had discussions with teachers about what measures children should take to avoid COVID-19; the things that we should keep in mind at home to avoid the infection; and how we can cover the basics and concepts children have forgotten.
The biggest concern for me is that now my child has started using mobile phones excessively and it takes a lot of effort to keep him away from the mobile.
This interview was conducted with a parent in Solan, Himachal Pradesh in Hindi on 26 December 2021, and has been translated.
In January 2022, due to a surge in COVID-19 cases in Himachal Pradesh, all educational institutions including schools were instructed to physically close once again.
Source: The Indian Express