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Mental well being is important for kids

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Preeti Kwatra

The curriculum activities at our end are planned in such a way that some are student-led, some teacher-led and some are led by the Parents says Preeti Kwatra, Founder Director, Petals Group of Schools in a conversation with Elets News Network (ENN).

COVID-19 pandemic has trembled the world, and everything has come to a screeching halt. Usually, preschool feels alive with children, singing out loud their morning circle time songs, has become ominously quiet. This pandemic has shut down preschool for an uncertain period.

After the school closure announcement in March, lockdown has worsened the situation in so many ways. Children are considered as most vulnerable to get the infection in this COVID 19 period. On the other hand, many preschools are running on the rental place, and most preschool owners manage their day to day operations through the student fees.

Also read: Prof. (Dr.) Kalpana Singh, Head Department of Applied Sciences, Greater Noida Institute of Technology: Impact of COVID-19 on education sector

To do this, the School had to come up with a plan to respond to the transformation of preschool students:

1. Train the Trainer Programme- At the beginning of the lockdown with the help of Tech team of our preschool; we have planned and conducted training sessions for the Teachers to access the online classes for the students. The online classes engage developmentally appropriate, including physical development, as well as we, pay attention to mental well-being activities of the children.

2. Use of Technology and Special Programmes- Preschool children are too young to handle laptops or tablets or Parents mobile phones to be available for the online session. The curriculum activities at our end are planned in such a way that some are student-led, some teacher-led and some are led by Parents. Both Parents and Teachers are working together to develop life skills in the childlike rolling towels, helping in-home chaos, storytelling, flameless cooking, Theme based storytelling, and yoga.

3. Engagement with the students- The School has taken the initiative to engage the students with some fun activities like birthdays celebration of the students, sharing the experiences of online classes of the students on social media platforms; Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp Google doc, etc. The students created some corona journal to spread awareness about the COVID-19 in their own way.

4. Webinars session for Parents- Parents have become comfortable and adapted the situation, knowing the fact that they are not alone in this fight. The School has also conducted some webinars at National and International to engage the Parents for their mental peace. All the webinars are on different themes like Parenting, Emotional Intelligence, Rhymes and stories, puppetry, mental wellbeing during the lockdown, and how to engage children in difficult times along with Storytelling session by Simi Srivastava, Folk dances by folk fitness, Nutrition by the founder of fitter fly Dr Arbinder, Cooking session by Chef Nishant Choubey.

5. Online Summer Programme- At Petals, we are all set to roll out our first Virtual Summer Extravaganza which has been curated keeping the engagements in this current scenario in mind. The planned curriculum for the summer camp emphasis more on interpersonal skills- considering how virtual introductions and code of conduct with etiquettes have to be, critical thinking, curiosity building, scientific skills etc are the activations planned for the summer camp for the age group of 2- 4 years.

At last, virtual learning is going to reset the concept of education entirely, based on preparing for exams only. Now the Schools have adopted the new culture and programs in enabling personalized lesson charts which makes learning more interactive, fun and engaging. Schools have started focusing on co-curricular activities precisely. It makes the students more self-motivated to finish their work and stick to their routines. Undoubtedly, there is a discipline in children’s work without any peer distraction.

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