Students’ ability to focus is low after online classes, say schools

Students’ ability to focus is low after online classes, say schools

With the CBSE and state board exams coming up in April,
schools face the challenge of plugging gaps in students’ mental and
physical abilities to sit for offline exams.

Online classes during the pandemic have affected students’ concentration
levels, writing speeds and handwriting, and during the mock tests, some
students submitted incomplete answer sheets or sheets with ineligible
scribbling. Schools are now consulting counsellors and experts to fix this

As the students return to classrooms after two years of almost continuous
online classes, they have been prone to restlessness from sitting at one
position and distraction, reported teachers. Many failed to attempt all
questions during mock tests because they struggled with sitting and
writing at a stretch. “Students have forgotten how to write subjective answers and lost the skill of sitting at a stretch and concentrating. They become jittery and restless and forget whatever they learned. Coming weeks are going to be stressful for all of us because we have to make them exam-ready,” said CD International School director Yashpal Yadav.

In the recently-conducted pre-board exams, even the top performers struggled to sit through the exam and give their best. As these developments turn students and parents nervous, schools are conducting more practice tests and offering counselling and one-on-one feedback to students to turn the situation around in the remaining four to five weeks before the boards.

“The pre-boards were shocking for students and parents. We assessed the situation and found that the dip in performance is a legacy of online classes. So, we are holding more practice tests, and everyone has to be on campus to take them. We are not sharing any digital content and asking students to take notes in revision classes,” said Salwan Public School principal Rashmi Malik

Additionally, schools have engaged counsellors to keep the morale high among students and help them beat the stress. School counsellors said that the main issues faced by students include managing time, retaining concepts and maintaining concentration, which they are trying to sort out through workshops and one-on-one sessions.

“Students are overwhelmed. They are struggling to manage time and retain concepts. Due to online classes and long hours spent on screens during the pandemic, they have forgotten simple stress-busting methods like listening to music or going for a walk. Instead, they go to social media or play video games, which again stress them. We are conducting regular workshops on
time management and mental wellness,” said Bhumika Rao, a counsellor with a frontline private school in the city.

Schools are hopeful that the boards will be considerate of the situation. “Students are nervous, and we are trying to rebuild their lost confidence in offline exams. From practice tests to pre-boards, we are keeping them engaged. Also, it is a global problem, and we all are in the same boat. The board is well aware of this, and the students should not worry,” said Aditi Mishra, principal, DPS, Sector 45.