Scar pandemic left on school kids’ psyche


#NEW DELHI
As schools across the country now open online instruction after two years, school leaders, teachers and behavior experts Wednesday reported a significant rise in behavioral problems among schoolchildren, such as aggression, attention deficit disorder, insomnia and emotional disorders, especially among those who have lost their close ones and dear people in Covid.
They stressed the need for social-emotional learning programs and counseling sessions to be implemented in all schools, saying the situation is delicate and it will take at least a year or so to get affected children back to normal lives. “There have been tremendous changes in children after the pandemic in terms of how they see their teachers, their schools, their peers and so on. Her attention span has decreased and her writing skills have certainly taken its toll. Their sleep patterns have also deteriorated, leading to irritability,” said Nikita Tomar Mann, Head of School, Indraprastha Global School, Noida.
Several school children have gone through a lot of trauma when their parents fell into financial distress over the past two years, causing deep emotional issues to creep in among them. “Children understand that their parents have faced financial problems, such as B. the inability to pay school fees or house rents, as some lost their jobs or suffered cuts in wages. They came back to school with this understanding, which also changed their outlook on life. I think it’s a different story for every kid and the intensity varies from kid to kid too, so we have to be very, very careful with that situation,” Mann explained. The concerns are real as the government’s latest survey found the mental health of the majority of students in the country has deteriorated. The survey results were based on responses from 3,79,000 students in 36 states and tnion territories.
The 2022 NCERT survey found that changes in the school system such as extended school closures, online instruction, changes to Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) exams and the postponement of exams directly impacted Lakhs
by students.
according to dr Sameer Malhotra, Director of Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences, Max Hospitals, they have found an increase in behavioral problems in children due to an increase in internet use, gaming and excessive use of mobile devices. “It has led to irritability, disrupted sleep-wake cycles, irritable and demanding behavior. These children also show restlessness and behavior problems. Ways to help these children should be well-coordinated, consistently logical ways to solve problems,” Malhotra said. Sr Pramila Judith Vas, Principal of Fr Agnel School in Greater Noida, said the pandemic has dramatically changed the educational landscape, with the significant increase in
eLearning.
“Many parents also suffered financially and expressed their inability to pay fees. Counseling sessions were offered to parents and their families. A supportive hand was extended to the students to deal with their emotional responses,” Vas told IANS. Based on the study, NCERT has now issued guidelines for schools on the early detection and intervention of mental health problems in students. As part of the guidelines, they have recommended mental health advisory boards, mental health awareness programs and educational support.
dr Samir Parikh, director of mental health and behavioral sciences at Fortis Healthcare, said that in order to deal effectively with friends, children now need to refocus on the importance of physical activity, sports, arts, creativity, friends, learning social skills and communication can deal with the situation and solve it.

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