"Implementing new learning techniques for overall development"

One thing that connects us all is that we are all going through the phase of ‘New Normal’ together and giving our best to adapt to the new reality. Focus and dedication on the mental health and wellbeing of children is of paramount importance.

The culture a child lives in, contributes a set of values, customs, shared assumptions, and ways of living that influence development throughout the lifespan. The COVID-19 pandemic brought a complex array of challenges which had mental health repercussions for everyone, including children and adolescents. Grief, fear, uncertainty, social isolation, increased screen time, and parental fatigue have negatively affected the mental health of children. Friendships and family support are strong stabilizing forces for children, but the pandemic had also disrupted them. Home from school and separated from peers during crucial developmental phases, young children and adolescents were among the people negatively impacted, in various ways, by the pandemic lockdowns.

Temporary closure of day-care centres and schools, online home-schooling, limited access to recreational facilities and many other restrictions. Children experienced social isolation from peers, teachers, extended family and community which increases the risk of developing mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. In addition, with the disruption of their daily routine due to school closures, some children who are confined at home spend more time on using computers, iPhones or watching television but lack enough physical activities. Excessive screen time have negatively affected the cognitive and socio-emotional development of children and was associated with sleep disruption which aggravated the physical and psychological health of children.

Now, as students return to in-person learning, we find ourselves faced with the intriguing question of how their behaviour has evolved in the wake of the pandemic.

It is observed that academic learning loss aside, children returning to classes after almost 700 days of remote online learning and for some underprivileged no learning at all, have also suffered great emotional and mental damage. This is manifesting by way of deficient socialisation skills, anger management difficulty, irritability, anxiety, fear, depression and digital addiction.

Nevertheless, amidst these challenges, our school community demonstrated remarkable strength and unity. Teachers worked tirelessly to evolve their teaching methodology to recover from the BCAC effects. Detaching them from the gadgets and reintroducing them to the real physical world was not easy. Getting them back to social life. Regular counselling, expert talks, group assignments, sport, extracurricular activities and hobby classes are reinstated to rejuvenate their energy. The smiles on their faces as they reunite with their friends in person area testament to the importance of social interaction and community.