Chennai

A quiet Vijayadasami for schools this year

Sticking with tradition: Children being initiated into the learning process at the Government Presidency Girls Higher Secondary School in Egmore on Monday.  

While Vijayadasami annually sees several parents make a beeline for pre-schools and early learning centres to get children started on their learning journey, this year it was a lot more subdued, with schools having remained shut since March.

Some parents are choosing to wait till schools reopen while a few others are considering online sessions offered by pre-schools and early learning centres.

At Alphabet School, the entire admission process has shifted online and Anil Saraf, CFO, said they had been receiving enquiries throughout the last few months as for Vijayadasami.

“Parents who want their children to be engaged and have them continue their learning have shown interest in online sessions. For Vijayadasami as well, the entire process was carried out online — parents were asked to submit applications through our website and we then processed them,” he explained.

Madhura Visweswaran, co-founder and principal, Redwood Montessori School, said parents who had been enquiring about admissions were briefed in-depth by the teachers and administrative team of the school.

“Parents have been told that they can either opt to enroll their child to attend sessions online or register and begin classes with us once schools reopen. Our school firmly believes that the focus at present should be on the emotional well being of children,” she said.

Their online sessions for children over the age of three, she said, were hands-on and interactive and strictly adhered to the dictates of screen time laid down by WHO and UNICEF.

“The child’s holistic development is kept in mind with a special focus on their emotional well-being,” she added.

A few private schools that had called for admissions asked parents visit the campuses to complete admission formalities.

“We had strict norms for physical distancing in place and had parents and children come in to complete admission formalities for those who enrolled in kindergarten,” said B. Purushothaman, senior principal, Everwin group of schools.

With no information yet on when schools will reopen, some pre-schools in the city said they did not invite admissions and had chosen to wait till there was some clarity to this effect.

“Instead of having longdrawn online sessions which children, especially those below 5 years, will not take to, it is best that parents are provided with resources such as activity suggestions and videos by pre-schools that they can engage their children with,” said K.R. Maalathi, founder, Happy Tots, an early education program.

The Tamil Nadu School Education Department opened up admissions for kindergarten and Class I in government schools across the State on Monday. A senior official from the Elementary Education Department said they were expecting a good response from parents as in the case of admissions to all other classes so far.

Schools had also been instructed to distribute free books once the admission formalities were completed.

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2020 2:44:03 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/a-quiet-vijayadasami-for-schools-this-year/article32948322.ece

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