Charles Darwin popularized the idea of survival of the fittest as a mechanism for natural selection that causes life’s evolution. Organisms of genes that are ideally matched to the environment are bred for survival and carried on to the next generation.
Thus, when a new virus that the world has never encountered before erupts, the mechanism of natural selection begins all over again.
Experts disagree widely, as in the concept of socialism, as to when Covid-19 will leave us. And world leaders became ineffective against the electron-microscopic virus. What will be next after Covid is a perplexing puzzle. One aspect is for sure — life would never revert to the pre-Corona age. Taking into account the patterns that have arisen in the academic sector during these days of the pandemic, we might make some intelligent extrapolations.
Education, the driving force behind progress, plays a crucial role in maintaining the quality of life. Its theme is bound to undergo a big transformation. The ‘chalk & talk’ model, where the instructor is an information shopkeeper, will need to be complemented by online instruction. Even before Covid, we began the online mode of teaching, albeit to a restricted degree. The Government of India has a variety of such schemes in operation.
Now with COVID-19 pandemic holding schools closed across the world, the start of the current education year has come to an end. Even as educational institutions finally open up for daily courses, it may be an uphill challenge for pupils, teachers and parents to ensure that safety procedures are followed. Teachers point out that, given the realistic restrictions on the implementation of precautionary steps among older students, the highest degree of diligence must be observed for students in kindergartens and lower primary schools.
A few of the safety systems recommended include rigorous disinfection of buildings and campuses before re-opening, regular temperature tests for children before attending school, as much control of working days and hours as possible, and the separation of classes into manageable groups to ensure social distances, the allocation of varying break times to prevent congestions, and so forth. Day assemblies are going to be a strict no-no. However, it would be “challenging” to ensure that all laws are in force for younger children.
Parents, too, are mostly undecided of how much to deal with the issue, with some opting to launch the instructional year digitally for the time being. Doctors point out that younger students, in particular, appear to have stronger experiences with each other, and therefore the teacher-parent community has to be on their toes.
The uniform is too big for one size. Shoes ought to break down. The brand-new backpack is clumsily suspended from a pair of tiny shoulders. There’s a brave grin with a missing tooth or two, a last grip of hands, an embrace, a kiss, a hesitating gesture, and eventual tears.
Before COVID-19 changed our lives and compelled our children to open their laptops and study from home, the first day of school was a rite of passage — the beginning of a life-determining path that has followed the same form and rhythm for decades. From kindergarten to Year 12, the classes are run by teachers who offer lessons that begin and finish with a bell. They set tests, watch tests, and post grades that can please, disappoint, or even surprise parents.