#Featured

Perils of online school classes should force us to think of what our kids must truly learn

online education zoom school

The everyday routine of waking up early in the morning, wearing uniforms, and rushing for school has now been replaced by a monotonous lifestyle of young children spending all day in front of illuminated screens – attending regular classes followed by online coaching classes in case a child has opted for any.

  • Are you able to hear me?
  • Is my screen visible to you all?

These are two frequent questions familiar to people who attend virtual meetings or are working from home and unfortunately, our children now hear the same on a constant note.

Each morning, we wake up in a hurry to ensure that our child attends all the classes starting at 9 am until 1 pm.

A class comprising 30-45 minutes usually passes away with the teacher spending the first few minutes affirming her presence and requesting the children to switch off their mics. The next few minutes squander away in asking students to switch on their video and suppress the pandemonium. It all seems like a normal school day, except that everything is virtual and much control can not be exercised to maintain discipline and employ authority. All this is exhausting for the teachers, students and for parents too.

We send our children to school not only for the sole purpose of acquiring knowledge but also to learn what we term as social skills – how to mingle with others, communicate effectively, adjust flexibly and share generously. Innumerable chapters from textbooks can be taught online, but how will children experience the joys of sharing their tiffins or frisk in the corridors or talk to their buddies endlessly? Virtually? Needless to say but these are the little things that make children wake up early in the morning to go to school with a cheerful face. These little activities help children cope with academics and live stress-free.

With the lockdown imposed for so long, the stress seems to be building up in children. The stress brought on by studies, the stress to achieve in these crucial circumstances, is causing frustration and anger and a lot of unpleasantness. Teachers are stressed too. Everyone is striving for normalcy, but at what cost?

Many parents are not keen to send their children back to school for the rest of the year – not until the virus is eradicated. Realistically, children will not be going back to school for the academic year of 2020-21. So this stress is going to continue for many more months – Possibly longer.

A full year of happiness is snatched away from our children’s lives. Can we not empathise with them and take the stress of marks away?

 We are all blessed with an opportunity to shift our perspective from online classes to pragmatic thinking. This is the right time to create a change. This is the right time to help our children realise their potential in fields other than academics. Instead of bookish learning, let’s focus on gearing them with life skills that will help them overcome adversity and pursue their goals.

These are extraordinary times that will be carved in history and we will be the warriors. So, let us not be in a haste to return to school.

Views expressed are the author’s own. SheThePeople invites submissions for its personal stories section. Share your opinion, send the piece to [email protected]