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Returning to School

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“In the near future, we can only hope for things to return to complete normalcy, albeit with the added responsibility of following Covid protocols at all times”

With schools and educational institutes beginning to resume in-class teaching, things have begun to look up for students. In the near future, we can only hope for things to return to complete normalcy, albeit with the added responsibility of following Covid protocols at all times. The restarting of schools would not only mean attending classes in person, but it will also be a pleasant time for teachers to catch up with pupils, for students to meet one another, and to study and learn together again. It will also be a time to share and learn from each other’s experiences whether good or bad in the past year, to value the importance of coming to school and be excited to be able to do so every day. We also understand how the recent past has taught us that health is of utmost importance. With that learning in mind, we must look at this refreshed phase as a new beginning.

Returning to educational institutions, however, may not come easy for most children as there are a few pros and cons that are bound to surface. For instance, over time, there has been a loss of motivation for children to rise early to commute to school. There is more pressure on parents with younger children to get them ready and drop them off to school. Tendencies towards lower self-discipline, short attention spans and greater attention to health issues will play a role in having to adapt to a new routine. Another area that has been affected adversely over the course of the past 18 months is the social skills of children, because of little to no interaction with peers.

“Another area that has been affected adversely over the course of the past 18 months is the social skills of children, because of little to no interaction with peers”

“Online classes have also encouraged self-directed learning and have helped to refine and critical thinking capabilities”

And yet, there are some positive aspects too! In the last year and a half, children have not stopped learning. Amongst some of the new things they have learnt are technical skills that they were compelled to understand in order to partake in online learning and interaction. Online classes have also encouraged self-directed learning and have helped to refine and critical thinking capabilities. As learning from the comfort of their homes meant no travelling, children did not feel exhausted. It will now be critical for children to restart their learning journey by coming out of the confines of their homes and back into schools with not only a sound mind but a strong immune system. It is time for students to recapture and regain prime fitness and make up for lost time.

For every child to achieve success in all their endeavors, I believe physical education is of prime importance. This is, therefore, a time for students to build on their health like never before, and all parents should encourage their children to engage in as many forms of physical education as possible. Remember, we are all in this together!

Dr Neeta Bali is a seasoned educator with over 38 years of experience in education in leading schools across India, and she is currently the Director-Principal of G D Goenka World School, Sohna, Haryana, India. An eloquent speaker and trainer, she is frequently invited to speak at various educational conferences all over the country. Her repertoire includes various curricula, ICSE and ISC, CBSE, IBO Accredited programs – PYP and IB-DP, Cambridge accredited programs – IGCSE and AS and A-Levels. She has worked intensively with the British Council as a BCSA (British Council School Ambassador) in promoting the spirit of international mindedness. Apart from this, Dr Bali has authored English Language books for Frank Educational Aids and a book of Essays for Madhuban. A trained Career Counsellor, her forte is English Language teaching, teaching of Psychology and Career, as well as Psychological Counselling.

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