HT Dialogues: Support students gearing up to return to school amid pandemic
Focus on emotional well-being, enhanced teacher-parent partnership and strict enforcement of Covid-19 protocols – these were some of the suggestions made by experts at Thursday’s HT Dialogues session which focused on supporting students during their return to school amid the pandemic.
The session was attended by Swati Popat Vats, president, Podar Education Network; Rajesh Hassija, director-principal, Indraprastha International School, Dwarka; Swarnima Luthra, principal, ASN Senior Secondary School, Mayur Vihar; Jyoti Dev Rishi, child psychologist, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, KG Marg; and Sweta Bhutia, parent, Apeejay School, Navi Mumbai.
While schools across the country were closed following the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown imposed in March last year, since January this year schools across the country have reopened in a phased manner for senior students while following Covid-19 protocols.
Sweta Bhutia, whose child studies in Apeejay School in Navi Mumbai, said she looks forward to her child attending school in a safe manner. “During the lockdown, the daily routine of our children changed. They wake up and go to sleep at different hours. Once the schools reopen, we have to try to get them back in routine,” she said.
Principals and mental health experts said children should be involved in multiple activities to ensure they are not stressed. They also said care must taken to ensure that the problems faced by the children from marginalised communities are considered in the run-up to reopening schools. “We need to start preparing younger children for a feel of the school and bring them into a routine. Give them activities like packing the bag and mentally prepare them for school,” said Rishi.