Post Mortem

covid impact on edn of children of poor families

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 8/28/2020 12:15:06 PM IST

 Covid-19 is a global pandemic that had killed millions of precious life and has created serious impact on the economy of every nations of the world. This pandemic is also making a very serious impact in all levels of human existence even in state of Nagaland. The worst impact is felt by the ‘poorest’ section of the people in the society. The school children from poor families are at the receiving ends when it comes to education system. The affordable traditional educational system is badly affected, the formal traditional classrooms where every students can learn and interact with their teachers has been replaced by new method call “the online classes” which cannot be afford by many . 

As I observed the school children are the worst hit. This led me to interact with several children from the poor families how they feel about the whole new normal. They are frustrated because they can’t go and meet their friends in the school anymore, they can’t go to church to attend Sunday schools/ can’t go to mosque to learn the Quran, and they can’t go outdoors to play with fellow friends, no family outings, no social gatherings, not visiting relatives/friends, no religious festivals etc. 

Another area of frustration was that many cannot join the online classes because their parents cannot afford to buy smart phone so they feel themselves inferior to other children. It effect in their behavioural pattern- they are becoming irritable, angry, and sad and depressed for minor reasons. Those who somehow could afford the smart phone are unable to handle the smart phone and also the new method of teaching on “online.” Many children have lost interest in attending the classes from their own poor home where there is no study environment. Another issue is, for many poor families, one smart phone is not enough for all the children to attend their classes. These are some of the new challenges they are experiencing. The academic pressure gives more stress on the children’s life and get depressed and online classes are inadequate for their studies. Thus, many of the parents are very worried about their children’s future. 

Now many children with no school and not attending the online classes have the whole day free time at their disposal with nothing to do. This home confinement has led them to mismanagement of time that lead to sleep disorder, eating time disorder, silent nature, and behavioural change which is very different than they used to be. These are some of the ill effect of the pandemic upon the school children of the poorer families. For the children of the well to do families the tale will be very different and issues also will be very different.  Amid educational institution being shut due to  Covid-19 crisis the concern department is doing its level best to make up using different means of digital learning for instance initiated the programme like TV, Radio education, digital content distribution through YouTube channel, distributing pen drives loaded with study materials for Class 5-12 students.  Despite all efforts to make digital learning accessible for all the children, there are still numerous issues that pose as obstacles for instance- pen drive is of no use without a computer/laptop, YouTube without smart phone with internet facilities, TV programme with no TV set. Sometimes power cut is an issue.  Therefore, to reach out to all section of the people in the society government functionaries should continue to find out the means to accommodate all children. 

In every human society, there will be poorer section of the people. In the Bible we find so many passages that have concern for poor.  In Proverbs 31: 8-9, King Lemuel’s mother instructed her son to be always sensitive for the cause of the poor and destitute. In verse 8, 9 she said “speak out for those who cannot speak, for the rights of all the destitute ... defend the rights of the poor and needy”. The king represent the people who are at the top, those who make the policy, and the one under whose authority it is implemented. They are to “speak out” for those “who cannot speak”. Here, “Who cannot speak” is in reference to anyone who for any reason is unable to plead his/her own cause. He/she may be tender age, lowly status, ignorant, and timid or a person with disability. These people will perish if left unaided, sure to be utterly ruined. In this text king Lemuel’s mother advised her son to open his mouth freely, readily, boldly and intrepidly and plead for such persons. In our pandemic situation, unless someone or some persons of wisdom, power and authority interpose on behalf of all the children of the poor families, those children’s life will be in danger of ruin.  I felt that there is an urgent need to address this “serious issue” in all levels. Government, NGOs, teachers and parents have a greater role to play in such a situation of ours to save those young minds. 

• Parents should be informed to be very careful in dealing with their children, they can show more love, patience, more understanding, and should participate in children activities that may make them feel better and lively at home. 

•  Parents can teach the children the value of love, life, time, ability, hard work, and positive attitude towards the life situation and initiate to lead them to gracefully adopt the new normal of our time.

• Government, civil societies, and school management should make arrangement in such a way that even the poor children can access and be a part of digital learning process if at all we are to adopt the new learning process.

• Every effort should be make to ensure that no one is left out or left behind. 

Temsunaro, Lecturer

Discipleship Bible College 

Mt. Miracles Dimapur

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