Everything has been turned upside down due to the coronavirus crisis. The disorderliness is quite visible in our households as well. While all of us are struggling to cope with the stress and the major shift in working culture, something that has been concerning me is the constant pressure that school students are under. My younger sister is in tenth grade and has been so engrossed in the classes and assignments that we see her face only post two in the afternoon despite living under the same roof.
My sister's day starts at eight in the morning and she continuously sits at the desk in front of the laptop until the afternoon. The teachers have been instructed to carry on with the syllabus at the same pace as they would have done in normal circumstances. In fact, due to the absence of constant nudging by the students to be excused, they have already covered more than what is usually done by now. Despite this, the classes often exceed the scheduled duration, which is forty minutes. As a result, they eat into the breaks between online classes that the students are entitled to.
On the weekend, they are given a lot of homework and have to catch up with all that has been taught during the week. Many assignments are to be completed and submitted as photographs on an alternate-day basis. Being someone who has always avoided sitting for hours with her books, my sister's schedule bothers me, as I hardly see her doing something that she actually likes. Most of her day is taken up by the online classes and the rest flies away in completing the work and reviewing lessons. While she hasn't enrolled in any coaching centers, many of her friends have. They have online tuition classes till nine at night; that is dinner time for most of us. Talking to all these young students, at a crucial juncture of their education under these unforeseen circumstances has made me question our education system.
Even in the face of a pandemic, these kids have no respite. Infact they are expected to get better grades because all they have to do is sit and study while food and other necessities are provided to them.
So obsessed are parents, schools and the entire education system with exams that the tests and quizzes can't wait till after the lockdown. Is it fair to bombard these kids with online classes? Do they not deserve some free time? I'm not blaming the teachers but definitely, something is at fault if written assignments are a priority over the mental health of students. Something that has been concerning me is the fact that many students might not have access to technology and this would surely take a toll on their learning. How will they cope when classes move back to classrooms and they have a lot to catch up with?
I feel that we need to cut them some slack. We're in the middle of a pandemic trying to make kids register five subjects a day and expecting them to write assignments every weekend! Does this sound fair? In such unexpected times where coronavirus pandemic is leading to so much anxiety and panic, the parents and teachers are still running after these children with a single point agenda of completing course. Are they even real? Can parents not find empathy within them for their own kids?
So obsessed are parents, schools and the entire education system with exams that the tests and quizzes can't wait till after the lockdown.
Dear parents, these children can do without the extra pressure that you have been putting on them right now. It's okay if they don't do well in that online quiz. Let them skip a class if they feel like it. If they say that they don't feel like studying, why not talk to them, instead of scolding them? The schools too need to go easy on both teachers and students. Teachers too have been going through a lot since many are not tech-savvy and struggle to operate devices. Also, teaching is a very interactive profession. No matter what is done, the classroom environment can't be replaced. Let's all be more empathetic and not expect children to ace their studies, at least during this grave situation.
Saavriti is an intern at SheThePeople.TV. The views expressed are the author's own.