The outbreak of COVID-19 has adversely affected the lives of students in India. Teachers and parents are equally concerned as ensuring the safety of the children without disrupting their learning have become difficult. Lack of technological efficiency has restricted many schools and universities in India from going online. In the face of a pandemic, parents and teachers must take effective measures to maintain a balance between students’ emotional and mental well-being while motivating them to study dedicatedly.
Teachers and parents need to consider coming together to avoid gaps. For parents to understand the current syllabus progress in school, tuitions, and universities and to ascertain completion of the remaining in due time, communicating with the educators is a necessity. A complete environmental shift from classroom-peer learning to learning-from-home might hinder the progress of the students.
As a solution, parents and teachers could work together. This will help them to make personalised decisions for the well-being of the students. Overseeing the self-learning progress of the students and discussing the same with the teachers would help parents find better solutions to keep the students focussed, creative, thoughtful, and productive during this critical situation.
Here is what parents could do:
1. Make and implement a schedule – Parents can create a schedule and make sure that the whole family follows the same. There is no certainty of offices and educational institutes operating normally even after 31st March, therefore, to spike up the productivity following a schedule like normal days would help. Motivate children to set alarms, reminders, have healthy meals, and study at the exact time as they usually do both in school and at home.
It is important to create a similar environment at home like the one in school or university classroom, which is neither too comfortable nor too distracting. Choosing to study while sitting on the bed is not a good choice in the long run for the children. Scheduling the day will help in managing multiple tasks daily, meeting deadlines, and keeping procrastination away.
2. Educate the children with facts and the right information – Misinformation about COVID-19 could lead to anxiety and panic among children. To help them cope with such issues, parents need to spend time educating them about the spread of the pandemic, precautions, and safety measures. Along with social-distancing, opting for social-media distancing is also crucial for the children to avoid unnecessary exposure to false information.
3. Precautionary measures at home – Parents should ensure that every member follows the basic precautionary measures at home. Mandatory things as suggested by the Government and WHO such as washing hands for minimum 20 seconds, using a sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, and avoiding touching the face with unclean hands should be followed. If anyone in the family has a cough and cold, the person should stay at home, cover the mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing, and wear a facemask while coming in contact with others. Cleaning and disinfecting the house should be done frequently.
4. Making children take out time for leisure activities – While the situation is alarming, spending more time thinking about it would only add up to the concern. As the shopping malls, playgrounds, parks, restaurants, and hobby classes shut down. Parents should keep at least 1-2 hours aside for children’s leisure activities. Exploring creative things and pursuing hobbies would allow family members to spend more time together at home. It is an opportunity to learn new skills, de-stress, explore hobbies, and read more. This could even help them explore interesting career opportunities.
1. Educate the students and their parents – In remote areas, it becomes difficult for the people to fight against a global pandemic due to lack of resources and awareness. Teachers should step up and help students and their families to understand the global impact of the pandemic. Through phone calls and online presentations, teachers could create awareness, build parents’ understanding, and educate them to use the right resources In universities and schools, using newsletters, emails, online workshops for parents, and timely notices could keep the students and parents informed about the strategies that the educators are adapting to keep everyone safe.
2. Provide online lessons with engaging activities – While most of the universities are providing online lessons after shutdown, very few schools in India can do the same. During a pandemic, uncertainties could go to any extent, and thus, educators can provide online lessons to avoid the loss of learning. Teachers could record videos and share those through emails or social media platforms to make learning easier for the students.
They could also add engaging exercises, activities, tests, and assignments that could enhance the students’ practical understanding of various concepts. Teachers could schedule calls with parents to discuss the progress of the students. Such a situation could help teachers and parents stay connected and explore the potential, interests, skills, and abilities of the students, which can later guide them to choose the right career path.
3. Motivate students to pursue virtual internships and training – Teachers can motivate students to enrol in online training through edtech platforms that teach various skills such as Android app development, creative writing, programming with C and C++, digital marketing, etc. They could also encourage students to spend time applying for virtual internships. Students can explore career opportunities in the field of marketing, data science, sales, commerce, engineering, and a lot more through internships.
Taking a training or doing an internship, or choosing both could help the students learn different in-demand skills, explore their field of interest, enhance practical knowledge, and build a stronger resume that would showcase their work experience, or a certification and make their candidature stronger for college admissions and the employment opportunities in the future.
Courtesy: Internshala Trainings (training.internshala.com) – e-learning platform to learn new-age skills from Internshala.