Delhi . Schools have been closed for the longest time in the history of India as a result of increasing cases of corona. Many students are now unable to recover from this crisis. Recent reports on students are showing that it has a direct and serious impact on their learning ability and mental health. According to a report, only 8 percent children in villages have access to online education, while in many places up to 37 percent students have dropped out.
In fact, lakhs of students have dropped out due to repeated school closures. Till now lakhs of children have lost their schooling as proper infrastructure and resources for online education are beyond their reach.
Eminent economist Jean Dreze, who closely observed the socio-economic consequences of this unprecedented crisis, in collaboration with several researchers, conducted an in-depth study on online and offline schooling of school children titled Emergency Report on School Education. Its conclusion is that only 8 percent of school children in rural India have access to online education while at least 37 percent have dropped out completely.
A research conducted by Azim Premji University in five states has found direct evidence of low learning ability of students. Research has also revealed that children are lagging behind in basic knowledge skills such as reading, comprehension, or solving simple math problems, which is worrying.
A few months ago, seeing a decrease in the Kovid positive rate, many states opened schools and allowed teaching in the classroom. But the increasing cases of Omicron again forced the closure of the institutions. However, now education experts and leading educationists of the country say that frequent and sudden closure of schools can prove to be playing with the future of the students.
In the rationale for reopening schools, Vishnu Karthik, Director, Heritage Group of Schools, said, “Frequent closures, and intermittent opening of schools have been a very upsetting experience for students and teachers. Children’s stress and dilemma has increased but their socio-emotional side has also been badly affected. We feel that like many other countries, we should also keep schools open in this era. The biggest upheavals of the covid era One is the prolonged closure of schools and educational institutions. The vaccination age will also have to be lowered so that students return to the actual school to study again.”
In this era of online education, there is no dearth of such students who are deprived of the facility like internet. Obviously, the process of his studies came to a halt which also affected his overall development.
Findings of various researches show that due to the closure of schools in the era of Kovid-19, children’s ability to learn has decreased while their stress has increased and mutual attachment has decreased. Some global research suggests that loneliness and mental problems have been reported in students along with anxiety and depression. It is therefore very relevant today to rethink the ways of dealing with the pandemic. Many world-class experts are in favor of reopening schools and suggest strict enforcement of safety measures instead of complete closure. At the same time, in the event of increasing positivity rate, the government has the option of closing the school.
Commenting on the issue, Captain Rohit Sen Bajaj, Director, Pathways School, said, “It is easy to say that the ‘virtual-hybrid-virtual cycle’ has become the norm, but this transformation is not easy. The scholastic and social-emotional skills that children develop through interaction in school classrooms and corridors are not possible in a virtual classroom. At the beginning of the first wave, there was a strong feeling of protecting children more than their education. But when the time of application comes in the university, then the demand of grade time has become. Then now children are stronger than ever inside which they have to be reminded. Helen Keller’s words reverberate in my ears while listening to the news of people trapped in Omicron’s clutches today, there is misery everywhere in the world, but there are ways to relieve pain. ,
Praveen Raju, co-chairman of FICCI Arise and founder of Suchitra Academy, is also in favor of reopening the school. “Due to the prolonged closure of the school, the general education of the students has been badly affected and the gap between the resourceful and resourceless students has increased further. You can also imagine the reality of Indian education in which most of the students do not even have a digital device and hence it is difficult to continue online education. India is one of the countries with the longest school closures and now the World Bank, UNESCO, experts at home and abroad are all warning against the long-term ill effects of closing schools. By talking to a psychiatrist, psychologist, you can get an idea of the side effects yourself.
Academics say that in this crisis, all concerned partners will have to strengthen security measures and especially in states where the positivity rate is low, schools will have to be reconsidered no longer. (IANS)
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Web Title-Direct effect of school lockdown on learning ability and mental health of students