In light of the recent outbreak of Coronavirus in India, almost all the state governments have issued directivities to close down schools, colleges and any other educational institutions till the 31st March 2020.
Done as a precautionary move to prevent the community transmission of the novel coronavirus, the advisory will be evaluated again during the end of the month to see whether it’s feasible to open schools or keep them closed for a longer time.
Under normal circumstances, this will be good news for Indian students, because frankly who doesn’t love impromptu holidays? However, the closure of educational institutions couldn’t come at a worse time for students, as it has happened right in the middle of exam season.
A lot of examinations have to be suspended midway, postponed or cancelled altogether. Not only this, with many colleges closed indefinitely, many outstation students have decided to go home, owing to the uncertainty in their college calendars. For final year students, this has posed another challenge. Delay in their final examinations has caused an unprecedented hurdle in their application process for higher studies, as they now don’t know when they’ll pass out of their institutions.
Simply put, COVID-19 has halted education in a lot of countries. It has also put millions of children out of school. A UNESCO study showed that as of March 5, the novel coronavirus has disrupted the education of nearly 300 million students globally.
So at a time when you simply can't get out of the house, what are students exactly doing with their free time?
“ Well, I’m frankly rushing back home right now. My final examinations had just started and I gave one paper, but they’ve postponed the rest indefinitely. It’s a pity because I was this close to finishing college and now I’ll have to wait. I’ll mainly be working on my college applications now I guess”
--- Prateek, 21
“ I was pretty annoyed with the whole stay at home thing earlier, but considering the situation, I guess it makes sense to take all the precautions. We cant go out. Even the restaurants, clubs etc are shut so there’s not much to do anyway. I saw this March self-care routine on Instagram last week. It talked about how since you have time now, you should do one new thing daily that you’ve never had the time to do before. It consists of things like baking, watching a foreign language movie, talking to someone new etc. I’ve been trying to follow that and frankly, it’s pretty fun.”
--- Anushka, 20
"I plan on moving to the US for my post-graduation so this time at home is like a bonus for me right now. It allows me to spend time with my family before I go, so even though it’s ironic, I’m enjoying the house arrest. I’m pretty used to my privileged lifestyle here and I know I won't get all of that in the States, so I’m learning all the household chores that I can. I cooked yesterday! Wasn’t exactly edible, but I still have 15 days of self-quarantine to perfect my cooking skills”
--- Hrushikesh, 24
"I’m in the process of job hunting, so that’s all on my mind right now. I’ve signed up for a couple of courses that I can finish during this period, which will probably help with the whole thing. The rest of the time I’m mainly passing by applying to companies, trying to find opportunities through Linkedin and talking to prospective employers on the phone.”
--- Ajay, 21
"Excuse me I’m wasting my free time right now, and that’s how it should be. I just got free with my 12th boards and I deserve all the freedom in this world. The new Call of Duty: Warzone just dropped. You can play it with your friends in an online multiplayer format right from your homes. If there ever was a game that had to be played during times when you cant get out of the house, it is this one!
--- Rishi, 18
"It’s a fake stay at home order for us. My college has started online classes! It’s a full webcam enabled interactive session so you can’t get out of it. You even have to contribute to the discussion a set number of times and only then you get attendance for the lecture. Even the assignments have been shifted online. The free time is more like a stay at home torture for me right now."
--- Ruchi, 20