– Reshma Ravishanker
Migrant parents returning to Bengaluru with dwindling Covid numbers are seeking direct admissions into schools from class 1 instead of conventional pre-primary, leaving teachers to deal with various learning levels in the class.
“I stayed in my hometown for a year as I had a work-from-home option. We did not admit my son into an online playschool because there is not much learning possible for children of that age in the online classes. I am seeking admissions into class 1 directly this year. Please suggest a school around Sarjapur where pre-primary is not a requisite. TIA.”- read a post from Mahendra Mishra, one of the parents on Facebook.
Similar are the queries from other parents who have skipped the previous academic year, due to the fear of the pandemic or believing that not much learning would happen online.
Shashi Kumar D, general secretary, Associated Managements of Private Schools in Karnataka (KAMS) said that even as schools could accept direct admissions, teachers will find it challenging. “The brain neural network is impacted if learning does not begin at the right age. The brain neural network and learning curves will be impacted because neurogenesis has been compromised. Now, teachers must ensure that learning happens for a group of children with varied learning levels. Among the late starters, the child’s literacy and numeracy basics are compromised. There is a weak foundation,” he said.
Gayathri Devi, secretary, Karnataka ICSE Schools Association and principal, Little Flower Public School said, “There have been enquiries for direct admissions into grade 1. Many parents could not seek admission because of the pandemic. From any student entering class 1, there is an expectation that they should be able to string simple sentences, read a four-five letter word and also know 1-100 in numbers. In case a child has not reached this mark, it is something that a bridge course must address. There could be children who are first-generation learners and attention must be paid.
“At the same time, there must be a healthy partnership between parents and school to understand that this is what best could happen if children are in grade 1. Schools have also lost admissions in kindergarten due to the pandemic and direct enrollments could help schools. It could be a win-win for both parents and the school in the current scenario.”
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