Students, teachers in despair during trial reopening of schools post-Covid
The world is a different place now. It is a world ravaged by a pandemic, where people have been mostly home since the end of 2019.
Where students have been physically removed from the education system and put behind laptop or cellphone screens (the lucky few that actually have access to the internet or phones).
The rest? Well, some have been married off, some just stopped studying and now help their moms in the kitchen or dads in the paddy field.
Now, the government of North Chapasthan, which recently broke off from South Chapasthan after a spat has decided they will get ahead of the curve.
To this end, they have taken various measures such as opening up shopping malls but continuing strict restrictions, opening restaurants but continuing shutdown on the streets, allowing public transport but continuing the shutdown -- you get the drift. All of this was done in an attempt to ensure the well-oiled economy machine of N Chapasthan continues running.
Now this is nothing new, their giant neighbouring country Bhindi too did more or less the same.
To get even further ahead and introduce something new to the global pandemic response, Chapasthan decided to open up schools and is currently running a trial reopening of educational institutions.
This correspondent got in touch with a student and a teacher to get a first hand account of their first day back.
The teacher, it seems, was the hardest hit by the opening. The disparity between what had been and the present reality was earth shattering for him to say the least.
"The students have all completely lost their discipline. They don't know how to sit on regular desks anymore," said the professor while our photojournalist zoomed in on a classroom full of young people sprawled, lying, or reclined comfortably on their chairs.
"Also, they are all openly cheating during tests."
When I tried to get a comment from one of the students, he muttered, "So happy that I have a mute button."
His friend, sitting beside him, said, "Sit really still, then people will think you have no wifi."
Before the class could end, many students had fallen fast asleep with black shades shielding them from the teacher's view.
The mock run-up for the younger kids was equally uncomfortable. Moms and dads congregated in the thousands jumping and screaming to tell their kids how to complete the question: 34+__=48.
Many parents were also ready with snacks and refreshments for their little ones. Some others were shouting at their kids to behave in front of the teacher and not just play catch up with their friend, a friend they have seen in person after nearly one and a half years.