Children are taking time to settle into school routines and many of them are crying and reluctant to enter classrooms or to return to school the next day, said teachers and parents.
Before the pandemic, only the Nursery children would take time to settle down. Over a dozen schools said the problem now was common till Class III.
The teachers this newspaper spoke to said the transition from home to school for children was normal before the pandemic but was taking time now as the campuses had been closed for two years because of Covid.
One irritable child, they said, is leading to others getting irritable.
In the last two years of online classes, children got used to attending lessons from home with parents by their side.
Students in the pre-primary section attended school last when they were very young and have lost the habit of staying on the campus for a certain duration every day. They have forgotten that school is about following a routine, sitting down with 30 or 40 other children and waiting their turn, teachers from several schools said.
Teachers expressed the fear that the extended stay at home because of the heat spell would further slow down the process of settling back into a school routine.
Some teachers said even adolescents or senior students were facing the problem. They have not yet adjusted to a classroom environment, where they are constantly under the supervision of a teacher.
A senior teacher of a school said a group of senior students forgot to wish the teachers after assembly and did so only when reminded. There were complaints from teachers of students “not sitting properly” in the classroom.
The difference between juniors and seniors is that the seniors can put up a facade of being attentive for some time, a teacher said.
“Students have to be given time to adjust. Two years is a long time and it is not that we can turn the clock back to March 2020 as if nothing happened in between,” said Amita Prasad, director of Indus Valley World School.
Before the children could settle back into school, they were again made home-bound because of the heat spell, said Prasad. “Six weeks is a huge gap,” she said.
Teachers across classes have reported a tendency among students to take more time to complete even simple assignments.
“When they take more time to complete work assigned in class, that unsettles them. In fact, those who were keen to come to school initially become reluctant later,” said D.K. Chadda, principal, South Point School.
Many children may have become used to having their parents around all the time.
“Even working parents have been working from home, so the children were not really away from their parents (during the period the campuses were closed),” said Rupkatha Sarkar, principal of La Martiniere for Girls.
These children are finding the resumption of physical classes difficult.
Teachers said parents have to learn to let their child be instead of waiting at the classroom door hoping to calm them down.
“Teachers know how to calm a child down. If a parent hovers around, it becomes difficult,” said a pre-primary teacher.
Seema Sapru, principal of The Heritage School, said parents have to ensure that the child is no longer dependent on them for everything.
“Unlike at home, they cannot attend a class sitting on the bed. They have to sit at one place for some time and understand that school is not only about play. It means academic work, too. They are trying but it is an uphill task currently,” said Nupur Ghosh, vice-principal, Mahadevi Birla World Academy.