Providing education during omicron is a big challenge

By Sheikh Mudasir Nazer
Shopian Kashmir

The COVID-19 pandemic in its new variant called omicron has taken a toll on everybody, and it would not be an exaggeration to say that it will continue to be the new normal for the foreseeable future. The weekend curfew has been announced while as the children started attending classes on Zoom. The schools did everything possible to accommodate the needs of their students but the parents are still in dilemma about the adverse impact that these changes may cause on the young minds.
In this epoch of pandemic, the provision of education has become a major challenge for which the parents of the children need to be serious along with the school authorities.
It is also a big challenge for parents of poor and middle class children to take full advantage of this online system in this time of pandemic. During this era of Corona pandemic, not only the pace of life has slackening but the demands and necessities of life have also been changed. The protection of human lives is paramount priority and when it comes to the lives of children , parents prefer the protection of children over their own lives.
The Department of Education has made every possible effort to enable children to stay safe at home and be enriched with knowledge by launching online classes and making the system a success. For this not only modern techniques are being used at the school level but also an effort is being made to train the teachers and establish a system so that the children feel that they are studying in the classroom with their peers.There is no doubt that children from rich families are benefiting from the online system but it is also a big challenge for the parents of poor and middle class children to take full advantage of this system in times of Covid pandemic. Children need a smart mobile phone and laptop for this, while earning for people has been affected and face great difficulties to fed their families. Many parents of children have expressed frustration that they can’t afford to buy expensive smartphones for their children while barely making ends meat during the Covid times.The authorities of the Department of Education and the sensible sections of the society should also demand special consideration in this regard to try to provide all possible support to the middle class children at all levels so that their precious time is not wasted and will be able to compete with the rest of the children in the future.In this context the charities that are being run to modernise the education system and provide assistance to the people should give full support to the middle class children to get online education easily. In this age of omicron, all citizens, public and private institutions need to work together because only joint efforts can solve these confronting problems so that our present generation will not remain illiterate and ignorant and our future will not remain dark.
The most important point is that Parents have to play key role during online classes of their students because the internet is a vivid world with no limitations and it is obligatory to take precautions and ensure safety from cyber-bullying. By ensuring the privacy restrictions on the system that the child is using for classes ,parents can keep harmful content at bay .parents may customise the parental control on chrome for safe use of internet.On the other-hand excessive use of gadgets may cause depression level in students .Mental and physical health of children is utmost important in these days.
Therefore, parents need to encourage their children to engage in physical activities. Of course, there are space and time constraints but, simple indoor exercises along with the family members can be refreshing. Exercises have been known to produce endorphins that greatly improve their mood too. It is extremely necessary to speak with them and let them share their worries and emotions which will maintain their personality in positive way.