JAMMU: Director School Education Jammu, Dr Ravi Shankar Sharma today inaugurated a three-day online capacity building programme on ‘Holistic Wellbeing of Teachers in COVID 19 Pandemic’ organised by UNICEF in collaboration with NIMHANS – National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore -the apex centre for mental health and neuroscience education in the country.
Over 30 teachers and counsellors from across the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir will be trained during the three-day interactive and participatory training.
The participants, 15 teachers and counsellors from Kashmir Division and 15 from Jammu Division will be undertaking the course over a period of 3 days and will then disseminate the accumulated knowledge amongst the rest of the teaching community, students, their parents and society in general.
Director School Education Jammu, Dr. Ravi Shanker Sharma, while inaugurating the workshop, said that the initiative was of immense importance because as duty bearers and care givers ‘we often ignore our own well-being’.
Expressing his immense pleasure for UNICEF and NIMHANS introducing the programme, he enunciated various programmes and initiatives of Directorate of School Education Jammu and said “There is always room to improve, always a chance to go one step ahead and this initiative is what is needed right now to equip the teaching community in fighting against the pandemic and its effects”.
He said COVID-19 is a challenging time for everyone. “This pandemic is not only a serious medical concern but it also brings lots of mixed emotion and concern for all. Complete lockdown situations, online classes, disrupted routine life, excessive workload has impacted teachers alike. As a result, teachers have had to continue their job under totally different circumstances which has resulted in a lot of stress, uncertainties about family, disruptions in normal routine etc. During this period medical, social, financial, emotional and psychological challenges increased and it was only natural to feel under stress which ultimately contributed towards wellbeing of teachers being disturbed.
This stress has been accompanied by anxiety, restlessness, lack of sleep, irritability and as a result it increased workload, interpersonal communication problems, insecurity regarding job etc and all these factors make the training ever more important,” Dr. Ravi Shankar Sharma added.
Dr. Ramchandra Rao Begur, Senior Education Specialist, UNICEF India said that the COVID pandemic has caused confusion and stress among teachers as an adverse consequence of closure of schools, due to the abruptness of such measures, uncertainty about the duration of lockdowns, and a lack of familiarity with distance education. Wellbeing of teachers which got impacted by the pandemic, is a neglected area especially in India, with predominant literature focusing on students’ mental healthso the program would go a long way in helping the teaching community.
Dr. Jayakumar C, Associate Professor DPSSDM said that he was happy to initiate this programme with Jammu and Kashmir Education Department which was one of the first to have undertaken this exercise. He also said that participants will be trained in signs of stress, coping techniques, importance of nutrition and exercise, Yoga, anger management, mindfulness, time management etc. over a period of three days.
Danish Aziz, Education Specialist, UNICEF, divulged that more such programmes will be organised in future as well that will focus on helping the students and teachers in particular. He thanked Dr. Ravi Shankar Sharma for his active participation and support to the initiative.