Around 62 per cent of parents in Telangana state want 2020 to be declared a “zero academic year”, according to a survey by the Telangana Psychologists Association. A vast majority of the parents (89.4 per cent) were worried about their child’s health and did not support the reopening of schools in the foreseeable future.
Counselling psychologists Dr M. Ramchander and D. Madhavi asked parents to fill out a questionnaire on the subject. Around 1,140 parents participated in the survey, of which 95 per cent said they were more concerned about their child’s well-being than their education.
Around 62.4 per cent of the respondents supported the idea of 2020 being declared a “zero year”, and their children being promoted to the next academic year without classes. Most parents, according to the survey, said it would not be easy for the children to maintain social distancing and sanitation guidelines, so sending them to school would be unsafe and impractical.
Dr Ramchander noted that similar surveys conducted in various states across the country also showed a clear bias for the “zero year” concept.
Only 59.7 per cent of respondents supported a push for online classes for their children. Dr Ramchander said the number could be even lower if more parents living in rural areas were to be included in the survey.
“From our experience, only people living in urban areas and with children studying in private schools are able to access online learning facilities. Parents of children studying in government schools and small schools don’t have equipment such as laptops or smartphones that would allow them to join online classes,” he said....