Even though the schools and colleges started with few students under the Unlock-4 guidelines, many parents still get scared to send their wards, due to fear of getting infected with Coronavirus. Due to this, many students require psychological support for being stressed, as they’re completely new to lockdown.
Underscoring the need for a proper mechanism to help students who are more vulnerable to emotional and mental stress, the central government came up with a novel initiative called Manodarpan, which provides psychological support and counseling to students, teachers, and families for mental health and emotional well-being. With the ongoing Mental Health Awareness Week, observed across the world from October 4 to 10, the Manodarpan program gained greater relevance this year with the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic impacting a large population with an illness like anxiety, depression, and stress.
Department School Education, Government of Andhra Pradesh has designed a week-long activity chart that aims to help both teachers and young learners get the better of the situation through ‘Manodarpan’, an initiative by the Human Resource Development Ministry of the central government. Through this initiative, teachers discuss facts about COVID-19 and share them with students to help them overcome fear and know about the myths and rumours associated with the pandemic. It will comprise of advisory guidelines, web page, a national-level database and directory of counselors, a National Toll-free helpline number, and an interactive online chat option.
The basic aim is to extend proactive psychological support for the mental health and well-being of students in post-corona times by integrating into the mainstream of learning processes, a teacher in a local government school. With this, teachers can highlight different aspects of mental well-being and link them to daily life situations through storytelling mode to students, thereby creating awareness on contemporary issues in an interesting way. After collating these stories, it will be shared widely for dissemination and students will also be asked to develop posters and write slogans.
In the meantime, Vadrevu Chinaveerabhadrudu, the Director of School Education has asked the Regional Joint Directors in the department and the District Education Officers to focus on Unlock 5.0 guidelines that speak of the phased reopening of schools and coaching institutions.
The central government has given the flexibility to the States to take a decision after October 15. But the state Education Department intends to continue the online learning mode in view of the prevailing pandemic situation.
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