Dr. B Gayethri Devi, Principal of Little Flower Public School, Bangalore
The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routineMike Murdock
A school is a school and the purpose of a child being enrolled into a school is EDUCATION! And Holistic Education!
Holistic education wherein the curriculum of a school is so designed to ensure that there is an all-round development of a child wherein the school gives equal importance to scholastic development, co-scholastic development, sports, application-oriented exposure, competitions, literary fests, field trips, etc.
The Day school and the Boarding school systems have their own merits and demerits when one compares them in a general scenario.
But if one needs to choose between a day school and a boarding school in the midst of a pandemic, there are both merits and demerits in this case as well. In a boarding school, the child is safe and secluded within the boundaries of the boarding school and is in a hygienic and sterile environment as he/she does not have to mingle with crowd, travel to school and get exposed to the virus, and since the child is in the safe compound of the boarding school wherein the staff too are accommodated inside the campus, the child gets to lead a normal life. Attending regular classes, taking part in competitions, attending the school’s functions and celebrations, sports and experiencing social stimulus would not be of any hindrance inside the school campus. Life in a boarding school is as good as normal, except that they are away from home and their parents.
In a day school, since the pandemic is in place and students are attending virtual classrooms and don’t have to travel to reach school, they are definitely missing out on all the activities and the social stimulus as they are not able to meet their classmates, friends and interact with them. Learning has become passive and the day scholars are glued to their monitors straining their eyes as they are sitting in a place for long hours without any physical movement. The only plus point- a valid one, is that they are within the four walls of their houses and are under the able supervision, love, affection and safety of their respective homes and parents are around to take care of matters pertaining to their health and nutrition as well.
For some reason, the government and the education department have failed to understand the merits of reopening schools amidst the pandemic but they need to go beyond the herd mentality and at least permit boarding schools to reopen and ensure that the boarders lead a normal life similar to schools located in remote villages which have been granted permission to function, for the simple reason that they are secluded from the crowd.
Children are the most hit during the pandemic and are slowly getting used to the new normal and have a laid back attitude and some of them are becoming aggressive, turning hostile, obese and lack physical activities, and may soon get into depression and develop other mental illnesses. Any form of school right now is the need of the hour and as an educationist, I hope and pray that every child across the globe may soon get back to their normal school going days as before the pandemic!