30 July, 2021

The Boring Blank Board

Some children are so tired of the coronavirus lockdown they are yearning to return to school

Photograph by Suresh K. Pandey
The Boring Blank Board

They are the same person and yet they are not. All that remains of their old lives are memories from school—sharing lunch, playing games, or simply spending time with friends in a room filled with maths, history, and side-splitting anecdotes. As schools closed this spring because of the coronavirus restrictions and online classes became the norm, children discovered that the “new normal” is anything but. There are upsides to being home, like getting to do schoolwork wherever they want—even the front lawn sometimes. But they miss their friends. Many kids seemed to have made the most of what feels like an extended vacation, but for some the novelty has worn off and they want classes to start again. When the government gave the green light to phased opening of schools this October, some realities have emerged: the students will look for the familiar when they go back. Will they get it? It was the obvious question and the most consequential, but has a fairly unconvincing answer. Some say they should return to school as normal, wear masks and teachers can...

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