New Delhi: Ishika, 5, based in Hyderabad, will attend her offline classes for the first time later this month. Her parents are as excited as they are nervous. After all, how will your daughter react, who in the last two years has only seen her teachers and classmates on screen, seeing them in person.
Like Ishika, thousands of students who began early childhood education in 2020 or 2021 have been unable to attend physical classes due to the pandemic.
However, the classes have been run offline. Now, depending on each state’s academic calendar, physical classes for kindergarten, elementary, and graduate students have begun or are scheduled to begin later this month.
This year’s batch is quite different from previous years, as the students who arrive at the school will be those who are not completely unaware of their teachers and the structure of the school but who in a way are still ‘first’. .
Amita Mulla Wattal, president of DLF Schools and Scholarships and former principal of Delhi’s Springdales School, said: “He has been very impressed with his stay at home for so long.”
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Wattal said, “They get tired easily, they can’t walk much and some of them aren’t even familiar with all the trivial things.” For some children, even simple things like opening the door latch, pushing a handle is still a challenge.
To help them, teachers at Summer Fields, Gurgaon, under DLF schools, are helping them develop their neuromotor skills.
Wattal reported that the school is adopting the ‘play method’ activity-based learning technique to teach young children. Her time in the classroom includes fun activities such as using flour to play, work with sand, draw, sing, and hike. Door knobs and knobs have been installed on classroom walls so that children can touch and understand these different shapes.
Wattal also said, “These kids suddenly feel emotionally isolated after being in the middle of so many groups of kids.” He explained that Summer Field is connecting the children with one of their friends so that they can live together and not feel any kind of emotional stress.
Parents are also working very hard to make their child feel connected to school.
The five-year-old daughter of Sakshi Prasad Kaul, of Bombay, is about to start physics classes later this month and said she has been preparing her daughter for the past few months.
Kaul said, “I know being without me and being with people you don’t know will be a very different experience for her.”
Before taking her daughter to physical classes, Kaul admitted her to an offline phonetics class so she could learn to sit in a physical lesson.
He said, “But my daughter didn’t like the teacher’s behavior with other students in her class. She hesitated to go to class and finally didn’t. The children have become so sensitive (because of the pandemic) that if they see something they don’t like, they try to avoid it. “
After this experience, Kaul makes sure that her daughter meets her teacher well in advance so that she gets to know the school facilities and her class before school starts. To make him aware of this, he took him to school once or twice. Kaul didn’t say, “I think he’s ready to go to school now and he’s also very curious.”
M. Sridevi of Hyderabad, who is the father of a five-year-old boy, did the same. She said, “My son will have to do everything at school on his own, like carrying backpacks, lunch, etc. I’m very nervous and scared. My husband and I took him to school and we tried to get him to feel comfortable there.
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Adapting to the needs of the ‘Covid Generation’
Kalpana Choudhary, a senior teacher at a private school in Raipur, believes her school children respond best when they are in a group.
He said, “We have a small class of 15 kids, so it’s easy for us to manage them.” Most stay together, eat together and play together.
He said the school does not use books to teach classes from kindergarten to kindergarten, and that students are taught mainly through play activities, songs, poems, art, and so on.
The Narayana Olympiad School in Bangalore is taking a slightly different approach. According to principal Ramani Valluri, there are mentor teachers at her school who are facilitating this task along with parents.
Valluri said: “It is important for young children to be comfortable with the structure of offline learning again. This requires better coordination with parents so that they can provide information about this structure at home.
“Our school has teachers dedicated to this task, who act as mentors for a group of 20 students. The mentor is in constant contact with the parents, informs the children of what is taught in the school and advises them to take the necessary activities at home to ensure the children’s learning and understanding.
Pediatricians ThePrint spoke to said school closures and home closures have had several effects on young children.
Dr Rohit Goel, a pediatrician at Shri Balaji Action Medical Institute, Delhi, said he has seen two types of problems in young children due to the pandemic. The first is that they have become more vulnerable to infection and easily contract a cold, a flu, or a cough, and second, their communication skills have not been developed.
Goyal said: “Many parents complain that their children cannot communicate properly at school or that they do not get along because they suddenly come into contact with a lot of people. Due to the closure of the school, his immunity has been weakened and his social and communication skills have also been affected.
Doctors have found that apart from speech and language problems, weight gain remains a major problem in children aged one to three years.
Dinesh Raj, a pediatrician at Holy Family Hospital in Delhi, said: “We also noticed that some children have missed vaccinations. Due to Kovid’s fear, people have been trying to get away from hospitals for the last few years. two years, due to which the children were vaccinated.All these doses are being administered now.
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