Dealing with the COVID-19 Second Wave: 5 ways educational institutions can manage physical, mental & academic wellbeing of students

The COVID-19 pandemic is not over yet. And the events transpiring in some countries — especially the virus’ devastating impact in India — over the past few weeks serves as a harsh reminder on how diligent and careful we have to be in dealing with it, no matter wherever we are in the world. Experts predict that there are even signs that a third wave could occur. 

Now, while the COVID-19 has impacted almost everyone’s life in one way or the other, it cannot be denied that the life of children has also completely changed over the course of the past one year. They faced frequent disruptions in studies, cut-off from friends during lockdowns, experienced uncertainties regarding their examinations, and more. This has caused a significant impact in terms of their physical, mental and academic well being. We. at Classe365, decided to come up with a blog through which we wanted to help the children during these trying times. In this blog, let’s see three ways educational institutions can manage physical, mental and academic wellbeing of students. 

We really hope that things will ease in the countries that are currently suffering. Until then, let’s stay safe and be there for each other. 

Recovery curriculum might be the answer 

Recovery curriculum is something that we have been advocating in recent times. It’s because we find it highly relevant for the current time. So what concept is the recovery curriculum based on? According to experts, children, over the course of the past one year, would have experienced losses in five particular aspects: routine, structure, friendship, opportunity, and freedom. This, according to them, could have affected the children mentally over the last one year. So, to get them back on track to regular school life with good mental wellbeing, ‘recovery curriculum’ could be majorly useful. The curriculum would be based on coming up with a dynamic study plan for students which could help them recover from the five aspects discussed above. 

According to Guardian and many other experts, ‘recovery curriculum’ is effective for children when their school life resumes fully. They say that it will enable schools to help children get back into school life after being in unprecedented situations for more than a year.

Maintaining constant communication with the students and parents 

When COVID-19 first started to spread, the school closures were somewhat unexpected among educational institutions. But as schools in some countries are closing now due to the second wave, this time it was expected. And with the experience which the educational institutions gained last year, they should be in a better situation this time around. So they should ensure that there is no sudden breakdown in communication between the institution, students and their parents to provide common updates and announcements. To do this efficiently, institutions could come up with a common online forum where both students could be able to conduct discussions and brainstorming sessions while teachers can be in regular touch with students, come up with announcements and clarify their doubts.

Monitoring the physical and mental wellbeing for students 

This should be a precursor based on which recovery curriculum should be based on. The past one year, where students have experienced an emotional rollercoaster, has just reiterated the importance of mental wellbeing. And keeping track of the emotional and physical wellbeing of the returning students – who have experienced (and some still experiencing) a year full of disruptions to their studies, has become even more important. It is needless to say that good emotional and physical wellbeing can also directly help students when the schools resume fully. This is where having good health monitoring (both physical and mental) systems can be very helpful in tracking the students’ overall wellbeing. Such monitoring systems could also easily connect institutions with psychosocial counsellors who are around. Especially in the current scenario, students who need good mental support can be identified and be provided counselling sessions by experts. 

Devise ways to keep them engaged if there’s a temporary closure 

While we previously spoke about how schools should stay in constant communication with their students, if possible, they should also take it a step further and keep them engaged during this period. For this, they can come up with quirky tasks which students can be encouraged to take up which will help better their cognitive thinking even as they stay at home. According to experts. This will help them stay active and be mentally ready when the normal school life resumes. Schools could also use techniques like gamification to come up with such projects. 

Managing the workload of students dynamically

Keeping in mind the point about the recovery curriculum, institutions should also manage the workload of students very carefully during the current time and also when the school life resumes fully for students. In fact, educationists who have spoken to Classe365 suggest that it would be better if students’ current standing in terms of academics should be regularly tracked and their workload should be increased accordingly. So the workload of students should be managed dynamically. A good ed-tech software offers good analytics features which would help track the progress of every student very effectively.  

 

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