‘As one of my mentors said, the “ Teacher of the year award “ goes to COVID 19. It has indeed taught us so many things that were previously completely unknown or deliberately kept at arms length because it was outside our comfort zone. Let us try to enumerate some of the things ‘Teacher COVID’ has taught us other than the obvious upgrade in our technology skills !
EQUALITY! COVID struck one and all irrespective of who you were , where you came from or best – whichever religion you identified with. It crossed over, pulverized, all the so called socio economic stratas and all other barriers.
It also proved to be a test for those with good value systems-those who helped and those who exploited.
Who were the real people that helped us?- teachers, doctors, nurses, drivers, – people who we take for granted. All our heroes- the Bollywood variety who are the objects of our adulation were really not heroes at all. Of course there were exceptions like Sonu Sood who went out of his way to offer immense help to Indians in India and abroad. Some of these heroes were our very own teachers- ready to stand in unending queues for oxygen, for a hospital bed or a Remdesvir injection. Don’t they deserve the same adulation? And once COVID has subsided will we continue to recognize their work or will they once again be taken for granted as the silent steel girders that support the building (society)and help it stand tall but are not visible ?
The other major area of impact was on our students. The impact that COVID has had on livelihoods and how it has further dragged our poverty line even lower is well documented. What is now being slowly realized is the deeper and perhaps more lasting impact it has had on the minds of our students. Young children have witnessed their parents go through job losses, uncertainty, social isolation and grief. The strong support system and stabilizing forces of family have also been disrupted.
How then can we as a society function as one solid integrated whole to support and nurture these children and once again make them confident individuals and contributing members of society ? Perhaps that needs to be part of the next planning of our National Education Policy.”