Bhopal: Has parenting become a challenge amid COVID-19 pandemic?

Bhopal: The maxim that parents are the first teachers of their children has come true in the COVID times. If given a close to the struggles of common man in the pandemic, the parents are now not only the first, but the only teachers of their children.

Some parents in the city have a diverse view on the utility of online classes for primary students. Some say that the classes should not be held daily while others feel that they should be scrapped altogether as they are serving no purpose other than burdening the parents as well as the students.

The schools have been shut for almost six months due to the pandemic and it is uncertain as to when would they reopen. After closure, the school management explored ways of keeping the little ones in touch with their books. Holding online classes was considered a feasible option.

However, soon the idea came under attack. It was said that making small kids sit before phone screens for hours would have an adverse impact on kid’s health. The government then directed that online classes should not be held for primary children.

As a result, the schools started sending course material through WhatsApp to the parents. Looking at the urgency of the situation, the government again allowed 30-minute online classes every day for primary students. All this has left the parents confused.

An artist Vandana Nayak, whose seven-year-old son Kedar studies in class 2, told Free Press that her son has been studying online since May. The teacher gives homework for two subjects daily in the morning through five-minute videos. She has to spend a lot of time to get the homework done. “I am unable to find time for myself,” she said. She suggested that online classes for primary students should not be held daily but once every two or three weeks so that children could get time to learn their lessons.

Similarly, Priyanka Sen, a homemaker said her six-year-old son Aryan studies in grade 1 and has been studying online for three months. In the beginning, online classes were real time but now the school sends videos. Now she has to first study herself and then teach him. It is very difficult for the parents who are illiterate, she said. “Also, we have to sit with him taking time off from household chores. We can’t leave children alone because we don’t know what kind of stuff they would start watching on mobile,” said she.

Neelesh Shivhare, whose son is a student of nursery, said he is okay with online classes because nobody’s knows when the pandemic would end. “I don’t want it to affect the studies of my son,’ he said.

Suchi Shrivastava, a government school teacher said she has no problems with online classes because it would be unsafe to send her five-year-old daughter Aadhya, who studies in UKG, to school in the corona times.

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