Finally, the State Government has realised the importance of opening schools. The orders to open schools for students of Std VIII to Std XII in Corona-free villages have been issued on Monday.
The social, physical and psychological impact on children due to lockdown, for one and a half year, has necessitated opening of schools. The schools can be opened by following the rules as precautionary measures.
Gram Panchayats will decide and plan for conducting the classes. Maintaining sanitation, physical distancing, using masks, sanitising school premises is necessary for conducting classes. Classes for important subjects can be started initially, the notification states.
So far opening of schools and colleges has been the last priority of the State Government. With social, physical and psychological issues cropping up among children, their physical attendance has become important.
Although the process of socialisation begins at pre-primary and primary levels, classes at that level have not been opened. The new entrants to the schools, in fact, are more immune to infections as several vaccines are administered to them.
Noted psychologist Amar Damle has suggested that schools from pre-primary can be started. Playgrounds for all schools are mandatory as per government norms. The classes can be conducted in open ground. The process opf socialisation starts by observation. The parents and teachers are first role models for any child. Conducting on-line classes for them cannot help. The attitude of parents and teachers towards on-line classes are not helpful in the process of socialisation of the child.
The objectives of education system MUST be properly understood and followed by the teachers and parents. This is essential to achieve the desired goal of education. Scoring high marks alone cannot be criterion for measuring the child’s intelligence.
If on-line education is absolutely necessary, use big screens at home. This, however, may not be possible in rural areas.
Damle, who is a teacher with a women’s college, has used different methods. Virtual classrooms have been created. Audio, Video lectures have been made and uploaded by teachers. The student can watch it any time. This has helped teaching—learning process to some extent.
In many countries schools were not closed, or opened after a short gap.
The State Government has issued instructions to be followed by the schools. Testing for teachers and non-teaching staff is essential. The students in the classroom must maintain physical distancing. The rules should be mentioned at prominent places in the school premises. The school authorities, Gram Panchayat office bearers and parents together should decide on opening of the schools. Parents should also take care. Those students suffering from any disease should not be sent to attend the school. The attendance should not be made compulsory or punishment should not be inflicted for less attendance and scheme to reward full attendance should not be implemented.