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13Mar 2020

Coronavirus And The Life Skills It Teaches Us

Posted by : Vandana Bhargav
Category : Parenting
Date :

It was just another day, with the children getting ready for their school. And early in the morning, one of the message stared into my eyes. The pre-primary classes are closed indefinitely due the scare of novel corona virus. Who knew this was just the beginning.  My older son was perplex with the feeling  that why not us, ma? Well, I didn’t have an answer to this. The day went by as regular as it used to be.  

The same day evening, came in the big news. The primary classes as well on indefinite holiday until further notice.  To me it simply implied, a preventive measure taken by the government. Let us do our bit, take care and be safe. However the influx of whatsapp messages from the “concerned parents” over the final exams let me thinking.

“So what about exams”

“My kid is studying, I have not informed about the current situation”

“Same here, my child is studying up to 2 hrs a day”

To come to think of parents getting anxious about evaluation and final exams led me to thinking the age old thought “Are the final exams be all and end all of life”? Seems like it was a YES, from us the parents.

While on the one hand we advocate that 21st century real life skills is missing in the current education system, whereas on the other hand, we crave for these exams to happen the age old way.

When the doctors in Italy are forced to decide who can live and who can die, we are thinking of exams and evaluations.  It may seem farfetched nonetheless it is true. The teacher friends always opine that it is the parents who ask for it, and the school has to balance it out. In the mad rush of academic competitions, we forget that the tender shoulder carries a heavy weight bag which is beyond the permissible limit defined by boards. It surprised to my wit’s end that 2nd grade student is made to get up at 3. AM to prepare for the examinations.   The logical mind thinks that is it not a “Continuous Assessment” that should matter rather than the “FINAL EXAM”.

When the boards and government is taking care of our children, why can’t we parents rise up to the occasion and do our necessary bit?

Yes, it is a concern for parents to provide different kind of opportunities for the career growth of children.  It is here that we need to come out of our “Fixed Mindset” and think of more than one way of doing things.

It is time to put into practice the “Story Sums” and “Word Problems” learnt from the text book.  

It is the time to put into action all the vocabulary learnt in the class, using in creatively in your poems, stories.  

A visit to the nearest provision store to purchase something will visually create the word problems and story sums. 

It is the time to put all your “Life skills” into use. “Dealing with Pandemic disease, lockdown, closure house arrest” so close to your child’s world now.  The words hitherto unheard of are right in front of your eyes.

It is the time to teach them, equip them with necessary emotions to handle it.

As a psychologist and a behavioral skills facilitator, I deem it important that these are the real life skills which a child needs to learn in such difficult situations. Getting anxious, hitting the panic button and creating widespread rumour amongst people through social media, our curriculum doesn’t teach children what to do in such situation. Forget exams, think about the immense learning experience your child would be endowed with.  

Put on your hat, brace yourself, and teach your child the real life skills which a missed exam will never teach.



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Vandana Bhargav

Vandana Bhargav is a psychologist, Founder, Empowered Insights, Behavioral Consultancy, based in Bengaluru. She started off with a vision “to empower emotional skills to students the way they understand, with the use of minimum resources”.

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