One year of Covid: Locked down, but not locked out... families in the time of WFH
PUNE Nothing in Pune was impacted more by the Covid-19 pandemic, in terms of everyday essentials, and even, “cannot-do-without”, as education.
The prefix online has now come to define, and as we enter into exam season across the state and even across all educational boards, has come to proscribe any other manner of teaching – from Class 1 to bachelor of engineering students.
In the trenches, managing all sorts of inevitabilities, are parents of today.
“Think of online education, students and parents as a triangle. There are both positive and negative sides which were seen last year. Students became more tech savvy due to online education; and they got more time to spend with parents, as working professionals were working from home. Initially, it was new for everyone and exciting. Even parents got family and bonding time with their children,” muses Dr Anjali Chaudhary of Sangopan -The Art of Parenting, a child counsellor and parenting coach.
“When we talk about negative impact of Covid, there is the overuse of mobile phones and computers which caused various health issues. Students, who were earlier very studious and active, eventually became lazy and more prone to smartphones usage. Screen-sharing time increased, and other activities like sports and hobbies reduced,” Dr Chaudhary believes.
“And the same happened with parents. They were already over-burdened with work, the children’s responsibility and their own personal issues. They are now at a point when they cannot wait for offices and regular offline school to start,” adds Dr Chaudhary.
Archana Somawanshi, a working mother of two children, said, “The biggest challenge for parents in the last one year was to convince them that they should not go outside, maintain a social distance, wash hands regularly and focus on their studies. For working mothers like me, it was a double challenge, as we had to look after children, family members and our office work. When the lockdown began, our domestic help was let go odd, and till now, I am doing all my household work on my own.”
Another parent Kiran Nagpure, sharing his experience of life in the times of Covid, said, “Initially when the lockdown began, we didn’t realise the seriousness of being at home. The first few days were fine, all of us – me, my wife and our five-year-old son didn’t have a fixed routine. Eventually we made a daily routine - household works, family time and work from home. In last one year this routine has helped us bond. This past year has made us understand the importance of having a routine in our daily life.”