Author: Sunit Gajbhiye, Chief Business Officer, Financepeer
When COVID started affecting things around me, I looked at my daughter and started thinking – I would never send her to school till there is a cure. Months passed by… I started wondering if this is the new way of life. And with both parents working, I realized that we are not ready for homeschooling, not yet. I stopped worrying about it for a while.
Although my daughter has a few years before her schooling can start, the same cannot be said about children in my family, friends. My perspectives evolved as I interacted with my kinfolks and friends alike. There were varied ideas like – we can teach at home, everything can be done online, we will stop paying fees, government will support our cause, too much screen time is bad, true learning cannot happen on a gadget, how will school and teachers make it work, will the fees be reduced and so on.
So much so, the newspapers, media and certain political views made me a rebel of the education system.
In a few days, during my interaction with my nephew, who would want me to tell him adventurous and thrilling stories over the video call, he mentioned to me that he missed school.
I was perplexed. Why wasn’t he happy about being at home? I probed him further to realize that there was essence in what he wanted to say. He missed his friends, his teachers and the interactions. He missed his tests and felt lack of purpose. What if his friends move in higher standards and he is in a lower standard? Is his future ruined if he doesn’t go to school this year?
After that day, I started questioning myself and put these questions to my friends and family – When we do not put out children in government schools, what were we thinking? When we let them watch content on mobile, tablet, what were we thinking? We strived hard to pay those fees and were happy about it, why? We wanted to make them learn on the tablet rather than play games, why? We imbibed a fact, that schooling and moving to higher grades with good marks is of utmost importance, didn’t we?
We want our children to learn in a better environment than we did. Period.
Yes, there are many challenges that we, as parents face today, fees being there for sure. But learning is more important. If our children lose this one year in life, it will impact their future and their mental well being forever. So, progression to the next standard is of utmost important. Breaking those shackles now at the cost of your child’s future because of a political view? Seriously?
Schools, teachers and learning mediums will need to adapt. Some have changed, others will take time and find their way out. Online learning may not be perfect. But some interaction with friends and teachers is worth it. And it’s still better than no learning at all. I am sure you would not want your child to lose this year and bear a mental mark for the rest of their lives. Yes – schools need to support and adapt fast. But folks – who was ready for COVID? Not the school, nor the teachers and nor were we.
I believe there are stages to adapt, even with this technology era at its peak. Certain level of interaction is must, before our children adopt this new way of learning and thrive. Things will improve in time with sessions moving from a group video call to native learning on devices. And within no time, our little champions will flourish and enter a new digital era and make us proud.
Unfortunately, we as parents, would be happily outdated like every other generation before us.
And, we will face obstacles as parents. Money has always been a major one. But there are many more. Our job, is to help our children go over, cross these obstacles and not move the children away from the learning track.
We put our trust in them and the education system. Let’s believe in ourselves again and seek the right solutions to make our lives better.