CHENNAI: The decision to reopen educational institutions amid the pandemic will have an impact on the mental health of both parents and the children, feel experts. According to the University Grants Commission guidelines issued on Thursday, reopening of colleges and universities will begin in a phased manner starting from libraries and laboratories, research scholars, science and technology postgraduates and final year students.
“Reopening will definitely have an impact on the mental health of both parents and children. Institution should reopen only if there is a definite need for it. Students and parents must also have a say in the decision,” said M Rajasekhar, an educationist.
Concurring, mental health expert, Vivian Kapil added, “If you force a student or a parent to send their child who is already having anxiety or depression, it gets even more complicated. Ultimately, the student will not be able to perform. Health concerns get exacerbated in this situation, especially for those staying away from home.” Suggesting measures, another psychiatrist from Guindy, R Vinod said, “There should be a medium to vent out any issues. There should be psychological services.
Each college or university must have a separate wing where they can talk about their problems anonymously. This might help to some extent.” Parents say that enforcing discipline among the students regarding social distancing and wearing masks all the time will prove to be very challenging.
“We hope they continue with online classes for some more time. Some of the colleges have been used as Covid relief centres too. Not just the students, but tens and thousands of parents are being subjected to risk because of this,” said P Aruna, a parent. They suggest that colleges can be kept open only for clarification of doubts and explaining a few lessons practically. Otherwise, online classes are a better option for now, they feel.