- This subject continues to bog every concerned pupil as well as parents ever since the pandemic made its debilitating presence last year. And the question that does not have any ready or reasonable answers that can satisfy all the stakeholders is also equally true. What has emerged out of the depressing scenario playing out all these months is that students are missing out on crucial academic learning along with the necessary social skills required to develop into well-rounded individuals. It has been extremely tough on the young children who are bound to feel grossly inadequate in their academic pursuit with uncertainty surrounding the portals of education.
- Utter confusion and lack of awareness reign supreme as the young minds naturally fail to comprehend the uncontrollable situation playing out amid them. All those negativities surrounding these impressionable minds vis-à-vis infection, admission, struggles, deaths, survival challenges, and fear of the unknown would have played unquantifiable havoc in their growth trajectory. Scores of adults have suffered badly physiologically as well as psychologically owing to the vagaries of the pandemic. It is best left to the imagination of concerned citizens as to what damages the situation might have had on those precocious children.
- Crucial board examinations like Grade X and XII stand canceled leaving plans, aspirations, ambitions, and objectives of millions of students shattered. Regrouping with considerable resolve calls for extensive support from the parents, teachers, and authorities in equal measures. What was thought as a temporary measure whilst implementing online learning to ensure continuity in academics has assumed permanency. However, the gaping divide between the urban and rural landscape has rendered the exercise somewhat futile with no palpable benefits accruing to the student community.
- Against this backdrop, it is interesting to note efforts undertaken by the authorities to resume offline education sooner than later depending on the emerging situation. With the opening of vaccination eligibility for 18 years and above kicking in from the third week of June, millions of students pursuing undergraduate and above programs are already queuing up for receiving the jabs. This should hearten the parents and the students alike to psyche themselves for resumption of offline education eventually. Many state governments have made elaborate arrangements to commence the inoculation drive to cover these eligible in the coming weeks.
- The moot point to ponder over here is what about those students in the age group of 5 to 12 and between 12 to 18 years, respectively. India is yet to approve vaccine candidates for these two categories since the trials are still underway. If reports appearing in the newspapers are to be believed, there are a couple of vaccine candidates in the pipeline awaiting trial results which would enable the authorities to extend emergency user approvals for inoculation. That might take a few weeks from now to fructify. Hopefully, something concrete should emerge allowing the reopening of physical teaching in the next few months. Till then, the authorities would not mind playing safe. Let us pray for good tidings without waiting for eternity.