Parents view: Why scraping nursery admissions is not a good idea?
Admissions in Delhi schools for Nursery, Kindergarten, and Class I is dependent on the DOE (The Directorate of Education) notification, which is published usually in November every year, however, due to pandemic, the DOE (as per sources) is going to propose scrapping of the nursery admissions for 2021-22 session. This means that kids who are eligible for nursery admissions for the academic year 2021-22 will have to drop a year and come back for 2022-23 admissions!
The bulk of the admissions in Delhi private schools happen in this category every year and scraping the nursery admissions for the 2021-22 session is unfair for all the stakeholders (kids, parents, teachers, and schools) since all other states are doing the admissions and enrollments for all classes including Nursery.
My daughters experience
My 4-year-old daughter got admitted to Nursery at the beginning of this year and she started with her online classes on Zoom in April 2020. Initially, I was very skeptical as to how a 4-year-old will manage the new normal specially when she was used to the classroom environment in her play school where she could touch and feel everything. However, when she started with the online classes, I and my wife spent a few weeks with her to ensure that she understands the tools for online schooling and how to navigate through it. There are pros and cons of online learning for a 4-year-old child however I see that the long-term impact of the same is in favor of the child and parents since there is a continuity in learning.
What is her experience?
My daughter has developed a routine that is somewhat like a normal routine of a school going kid. She gets up on time and gets ready and sits in front of the computer to learn something every day and I have seen and been a part of Zoom calls where kids are baking together online, kids connect through stories and shows, they are doing yoga, they are painting, they are drawing, etc. I feel that they are connecting with teachers and their peers but it’s different. Kids have improved their communication skills in a different way online. Kids are resilient and they adapt in ways people who are older can’t. Creating some type of routine for the kid is very important because that puts the known into the unknown specially during uncertain times. If there is no online schooling then it will be very difficult to inculcate the routine and there is a high likelihood that the entire year will be wasted for the kids!
Tech is here to stay; adoption is the answer
Kids particularly teens have been using technology to communicate with their friends for quite some time now. I think it is the younger kids particularly in the elementary and preschool where they are so much more interpersonal and in fact physical in many ways in the way that they interact with each other and clearly, school closure is putting a damper on those learning opportunities for them. We need to keep ways for kids so that they learn online those social skills about how to take turns and how to interact with each other and how to know how to stop etc. and to help kids get through these socialization changes parents need to play an important role in online schooling.
The involvement of parents specially the mothers has gone up in online schooling and for a kid, it is beneficial that he/she has a teacher online and a mother supporting her at home to help him/her to participate and learn online. It will be difficult for parents to keep the kids engaged if there was no online schooling.
Most of the parents don’t want their kids to drop a year as losing a year would mean affecting the important foundational years of the kid. Parents are certainly worried about the Covid situation and the social distancing etc. however they are fine if the classes are done online so that kids are engaged and learn something then nothing if the year is dropped!
The lockdown is slowly being eased by the govt. and life for the society at large is slowly moving towards the new normal. In the light of this, the DOE should rethink the proposal and should not scrap the Nursery admissions as all the schools have moved online post-March 2020 and the new normal is a hybrid or blended model whereby the admissions can happen in a usual way and schools can reopen physically when the situation comes under control and till then children can study online like the current academic year.
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