Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are all forced to self-isolate and stay at home in order to protect ourselves from coronavirus. Our lives have changed drastically since the lockdown began. Schools, stores, and restaurants are closed.
We are all having a hard time trying to adapt to this situation. Most families, including mine, have been quarantined for almost three months now. Since school is closed, the only way left to get a proper education from home is online school. Many private schools in Nepal have begun teaching children through online platforms, via google classroom, seesaw, zoom etc. Online learning has been a big part of my life for the past three months, and while it is a good alternative to normal school, it does have its ups and downs.
Online school was not at all like what I expected it to be. I thought of it as new and exciting at the beginning but once we had our classes, my spirit dampened. It was fun in the beginning. We would chat through zoom with the private chat feature and some of my classmates even managed to eat food without the teachers noticing. Some people would scribble on the virtual whiteboard ,for no reason other than to aggravate our teachers. Even with all our fun antics, we quickly lost interest, after all, we are still fickle children. When I asked my classmates to give me their opinion, one of them said, “it's okay but it gets boring sometimes”.
Another thing we expected was that online school would be much easier. However, while it is easy in some aspects, online school can be quite hectic. It's not as hard as normal school but it is definitely not a walk in the park, believe it or not. Now, we have stricter deadlines and a lot of pressure to keep our grades high.
Boredom and hectic schedules are not the only reasons as to why children are having a hard time adjusting to online school. Another reason is the separation from our peers. Things are easy when you aren't “suffering” alone and celebrations are more fun when you have someone to celebrate with you. In normal school, I had my friends to lift up my spirits when I felt down about getting bad marks or forgot to do my homework. However, with online school, we have to do a lot of things alone and the isolation can get to your head. So, my friends and I call each other everyday in between classes, we do our homework together through zoom, we text daily on instagram, etc. in order to keep including each other in our lives to keep our friendship intact and keep loneliness at bay.
Even though it is quite convenient to do school from home, all of us can't wait for the pandemic to end and for schools to start again. I think we all are starting to reevaluate everything and are realizing that we should have been more grateful for all of the things and memories we never thought of as valuable like going to the farmers’ market with your friends and goofing around, or recess at school when you and your friends goofed around or quickly did the homework you forgot to do the day before. We all hope that life will go back to normal but i am quite cynical so I believe everything will be different and everyone will be much more paranoid. We will just have to wait and see.
At the end of the day, I feel quite grateful that I have some form of education, while most children in Nepal do not get the same opportunity. We are quite privileged compared to other children. Let's all hope that everything will turn out okay and we can all go back to our lives, and when we do return to our normal routines, hopefully everyone will remember to be grateful for the good times we had or are having.