With schools closed in India for over a year now and schooling restricted to online education, it is getting tougher for parents to plan the academic year for kids, especially for toddlers and little kids.
Oh how I started researching schools and boards even before I tested positive for pregnancy in March 2017! Exactly one year later, Covid arrived in India and countrywide lockdown began. Mishika was just one year and four months old then. Who knew that this pandemic will have such a long unwelcome stay? The dream of dropping her off to a colourful playgroup with kids her age and then a preschool just remained a hope. So I started homeschooling her early on… what else to do at home all day with strict, yet necessary, lockdown that resulted in closing everything from parks, zoos, malls, places to visit… even walking down in our housing society in the initial months! Let me be honest, I didn’t even know the term “homeschooling” until last year!
Should I send my toddler to a school in Mumbai / Navi Mumbai in the next six months (i.e. in the second half of 2021)?
Now Mishika is four months shy of her third birthday, and there is no sign of schools reopening. Even if they reopen in a few months, with the Covid case count here and absolute negligence of safety precautions by some people around, it will not be possible for little kids to stay safe from coronavirus in the preschools here. That’s my opinion based on my personal experience of visiting a popular preschool he1re (before the pandemic) that gave me a great insight on the hygiene levels observed. I also had a discussion with a few friends who have kids of the same age group as Mishika. Based on the current situation, even if schools reopen by end of 2021, I do not plan to send my then 3-year-old daughter to a school. I will assess the situation again in December and revisit this post.
What about online school for two-and-a-half-year olds?
Ah, this is a tougher decision and many factors need to be taken into consideration.