Online camps, hobby classes keeping Chandigarh kids engaged this summer break
As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to encumber the outdoor life for adults and minors alike, teachers and parents are adopting new ways to keep their wards occupied this summer vacation.
In Chandigarh, most parents have put their faith in online hobby classes.
Government schools in the city announced summer vacation on May 8 and are set to open soon. Several private schools stuck to their academic calendar and declared the break around May-end, while Vivek High School, Sector 38, pushed the date to June 14 based on the feedback from parents.
With an aim to make the holidays interesting and productive for children, some schools are organising summer camps. Sweety Bahl, a teacher at DAV Sector 15, who has arranged for a week-long summer camp for the students, said, “The theme of the camp is the environment. Principal Anuja Sharma and the teachers are helping students learn skills like tie-dying with natural ingredients, making green terrariums and papier mache.”
Similarly, St John’s High School in Sector 26 is holding coding classes for students, according to principal Kavita Das. “We have designed our holiday homework in such a way that students will have to apply their creative minds in preparing their projects,” she said.
Hobby centres in the city have also taken to the online approach. Pracheen Kala Kendra has been holding online classes for dance and fine arts. Pracheen Kala Kendra secretary Sajal Koser said, “We are planning to start offline classes for students at the centre from June 10 onwards after discussion with their parents and checking the government’s guidelines. We are likely to hold online workshops for classical dance, music and fine arts from June 15 onwards.”
Many parents, however, say that children are now averse to online classes after studying in the mode for over a year. Nitin Goyal, whose children study in a city-based school, said, “We have tried to get our kids involved in various online classes, including online karate, but they are more inclined towards Whatsapp calls with friends and online games.” He added that without any release of pent-up energy, kids are getting moodier and more irritable.
Dr Adarsh Kohli, professor of clinical psychology at PGIMER, said, “Hobby classes are useful if chosen well as per the child’s interests and inclinations. It is a good change for the child from routine activities. Children are missing out on a productive period of their childhood and their social economical and psychological quotient is being neglected. The joys of learning, meeting, sharing and talking are not being experienced due to the pandemic and parents have to fill in these gaps.”
Meanwhile, some schools are not holding any summer classes at all. Speaking about this, director of Strawberry Fields High School, Sector 26, Atul Khanna, said, “Our teachers have been working constantly since 2020, so we have decided to give them time-off to be with their families.”