Skip to main content

Schooling? 50% Odisha children didn't get any support during pandemic, says study

By Our Representative 

Children, despite being less affected by coronavirus, are bearing a disproportionate burden of the implications of the Covid-19 pandemic and it is not just affecting their physical health but also their mental wellbeing. The prolonged school closure and movement restriction caused fear, anxiety, stress and social bearings among children.
Therefore, as schools reopen, addressing the mental wellbeing of these children will play a crucial role in helping them to overcome psychological distress and adjust smoothly in a post-covid classroom, revealed an online study report released by the non-profit Atmashakti Trust and its allies Odisha Shramajeebee Mancha and Mahila Shramajeebee Mancha, Odisha.
Conducted initially with 2,219 school going children of Class 1 to 8 from 84 blocks of 16 rural districts of Odisha, the report says, “Almost half of children (49.8 %) reportedly could not get required support from their family members to deal mainly with their emotional, social as well as learning support needs during the pandemic."
Out of 2,219 children, 91.5% were from government-run schools, 84.7% were from schools under School and Mass Education Department and 6.8% were from schools managed by Scheduled Tribe and Scheduled Tribe (ST & SC) Development, Minorities & Backward Classes Welfare Department, Government of Odisha.
Lack of access to online education also played a major role in children’s elevated mental stress. In all, 94.3% of the children interviewed for the study reported that they did not have access to a smartphone making their learning difficult and stressful.
Online education was attended merely by 10.2% of children. But the grave concern is that online education was quite confusing for 32.2% of children. Even 17% of children, who attended online classes anyway, showed their discontent, saying that it was challenging for them on many fronts.
While 12.8% of children have reported that they could not interact or ask questions with teachers in fear of being bullied by their teachers, 14.7% of them felt embarrassed to ask a question as the concept of online classes was something that none of them was prepared for.
Students’ attitudes and turns of mind are influenced to a great extent by the support they obtain from teachers. According to the study report, 68.9% of children said there was no connection between them and their teachers during the prolonged school closure period. Also, 60.3% of children reported that they were fearful about their learning loss when they heard about the school closure news.
73.2% of children reported that they experienced mental and physical abuse during the pandemic
Even though school closure was essential to reduce the transmission of Covid-19 among children, it affected the social behaviour of children badly. Shockingly, 73.2% of children reported that they experienced mental and physical abuse during the pandemic. Also, 47.3% of children said that they were engaged in household work to support their families.
“The study report reveals a trend of children reporting an increased difficulty to their mental wellbeing. As schools reopen, there is an emergent need for an action plan to address the mental wellbeing of children, especially those from the marginalised communities who were mostly left out of any support during the pandemic", said Ruchi Kashyap, Executive Trustee of Atmashakti Trust.
She added, "Counselling, extra support to children for improving their social behaviour, mentoring support to lessen their stress and fear in classrooms as well as in their homes is crucial to help them more effectively. In Mo Chatasali, we are helping over 1 lakh children to continue education in Odisha where mental wellbeing is one of the main aspects we are focusing on.”

Comments

TRENDING

'Draconian' Kerala health law follows WHO diktat: Govt readies to take harsh measures

By Dr Maya Valecha*  The Governor of Kerala has signed the Kerala Public Health Bill, which essentially reverses the people’s campaign in healthcare services in Kerala for decentralisation. The campaign had led to relinquishing of state powers in 1996, resulting in improvement of health parameters in Kerala. Instead, now, enforcement of law through the exercise of power, fines, etc., and the implementation of protocol during the pandemic, are considered of prime importance.

Reject WHO's 'draconian' amendments on pandemic: Citizens to Union Health Minister

By Our Representative  Several concerned Indian citizens have written to the Union Health Minister to reject amendments to the International Health Regulations (IHR) of the World Health Organization (WHO) adopted during the 75th World Health Assembly (WHA75) in May 2022, apprehending this will make the signatories surrender their autonomy to the “unelected, unaccountable and the whimsical WHO in case of any future ‘pandemics’.”

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Bihar rural women entrepreneurs witness 50% surge in awareness about renewal energy

By Mignonne Dsouza*  An endline survey conducted under the Bolega Bihar initiative revealed a significant increase in awareness of renewable energy among women, rising from 25% to 76% in Nalanda and Gaya. Renu Kumari, a 34-year-old entrepreneur from Nalanda, Bihar, operates a village eatery that serves as the primary source of income for her family, including her husband and five children. However, a significant portion of her profits was being directed toward covering monthly electricity expenses that usually reach Rs 2,000. 

Work with Rajasthan's camel herders: German scientist wins World Cookbook Award 2023

By Rosamma Thomas*  Gourmand World Cookbook Awards are the only awards for international food culture. This year, German scientist  Ilse Kohler Rollefson , founder of Camel Charisma, the first of India’s camel dairies, in Pali district of Rajasthan, won the award for her work with camel herders in Rajasthan, and for preparing for the UN International Year of Camelids, 2024. 

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Why is electricity tariff going up in India? Who is the beneficiary? A random reflection

By Thomas Franco*  Union Ministry of Power has used its power under Section 11 of the Electricity Act, 2003 to force States to import coal which has led to an increase in the cost of electricity production and every consumer is paying a higher tariff. In India, almost everybody from farmers to MSMEs are consumers of electricity.

'Pro-corporate agenda': Odisha crackdown on tribal slum dwellers fighting for land rights

By Our Representative  The civil rights network Campaign Against State Repression (CASR), even as condemning what it calls “brutal repression” on the Adivasi slum dwellers of Salia Sahi in Bhubaneshwar by the Odisha police, has said that the crackdown was against the tribals struggling for land rights in order to “stop the attempts at land-grab by the government.”

Deplorable, influential sections 'still believe' burning coal is essential indefinitely

By Shankar Sharma*  Some of the recent developments in the power sector, as some  recent news items show, should be of massive relevance/ interest to our policy makers in India. Assuming that our authorities are officially mandated/ committed to maintain a holistic approach to the overall welfare of all sections of our society, including the flora, fauna and general environment, these developments/ experiences from different parts of the globe should be clear pointers to the sustainable energy pathways for our people.

Hazrat Aisha’s age was 16, not 6: 'Weak' Hadith responsible for controversy

Sacred chamber where Prophet and Aisha used to live By Dr Mike Ghouse* Muslims must take the responsibility to end the age-old controversy about Hazrat Aisha’s age at the time of her marriage to the Prophet (pbuh) – it was 16, not 6 (minimum was 16, Max 23 per different calculations). The Hadiths published were in good faith, but no one ever checked their authenticity, and they kept passing on from scholar to scholar and book to book.  Thanks to 9/11, Muslims have started questioning and correcting the Hadiths, Seerah, and mistranslations of the Quran. Now, the Ulema have to issue an opinion, also known as Fatwa, to end it and remove those Hadith entries. Mustafa Akyol, a scholar of Islam, implores Muslims to stop deifying “the received traditions” and critically study their religious past, shedding rigid legalism and close-mindedness. Someone else used the phrase “copycat Muslims” to identify scholars who copied what was given to them and passed it on without researching or questioni