The State Government has allowed reopening of schools from October 4. Besides other, one of the directions state that abnormal behaviour of the students should be referred for counselling immediately.
Lockdown for more than 18 months has compelled the State Government realise that a trained counsellor is mandatory for every school. Right from Kothari Commission, appointment of special teachers and counsellors in all schools has been emphasised. However, the issue was ignored by the policy makers and school managements as well.
Corona pandemic, which resulted in closure of schools for more than one and a half year, was a different experience for all. The changing behaviour of the children and parents, resultant socio-psychological problems have made everyone wake from the deep slumber.
The new Education Policy has also laid emphasis on the field of school social work. The trained counsellor in every school will be able to identify issues in behaviour of children and also help in overcoming them.
The major issues are physical and psychological health-related ones. Over exposure to screen has affected eyesight and also brain. Their curiosity has led them to serfe through different sites, which are not necessarily made for them. Sex-related crimes have increased. The children have become lethargic as playgrounds were not open for them, nor they were allowed to move out of their house.
While allowing reopening of schools, sports activities have been banned. Thus restrictions on physical activities have been restricted. The children are bound to meet their friends, without keeping prescribed social distancing, which is natural. This is a part of socialisation and cannot be ignored.
The issues may be important and at the same time the sword of third wave of Corona hanging on head, has made it more complicated.
Besides seeking help of experts from the field of medicine, services of psychologists, psychiatrist and trained counsellors (social workers) is very important. Ignoring these issues can affect entire generation and future of the society and the nation.