Covid-19 forces a star student to drop out of school
In March, Nimisha Kashyap was ecstatic. She was trapped at home due to the Covid-19 induced national lockdown, but based on her excellent academic record, she was promoted from class 6 to 7. Her school, Raja Harish Chand Bal Niketan in Lucknow, was forced to cancel annual exams. in line with government directives and decided to advance students to the next class.
Kashyap 13, was an outstanding student who had passed her Class 6 exams. She was eager to begin her studies.
But by April, her happiness had turned to despair. With the national shutdown closing the wholesale store where his father worked, Pradeep Kumar Kashyap, the family had no money to pay their school fees of 500 rupees a month. In May, his name was struck off the school’s academic charts.
“All the excitement of buying new books for class 7 evaporated. I had to sit at home and turn the pages of the old Class 6 books every day, ”said Kashyap, a Raja Bazar resident in old Lucknow.
The Kashyaps live in a one-bedroom apartment in a tight neighborhood. The financial crisis has left them without money to repair their television since January. Pradeep’s wholesale clothing store has cut its monthly salary from Rs 12,000 to Rs 8,000. “It was very difficult to pay the fees. I’ll get Nimisha to sign up next year, ”Pradeep said.
Kashyap now spends most of the day at home. “After a few hours of studying, I play Ludo and other games with the neighborhood kids at night when they don’t have their online classes and homework,” he added.
Her mother Soni and older sister Deepanshi, an undergraduate student, try to keep her busy by assigning her homework from old textbooks. “We feel very bad for her. My husband’s meager income made it difficult for us to pay school fees. Hopefully, at your age, dropping a year of school won’t make a big difference in your life. We hope that everything will be normal from next year, ”said his mother.
Kashyap said that more than studying, he misses sharing the classroom with his friends. “All my friends are now in Class 7. Next year, when I go to school, I will have to make new friends again,” he lamented. Another thing he hopes to return to is playing badminton with his best friend Palak.
Pradeep said the family was distraught over the decision to make him drop out of school, but realized it was not possible to manage household expenses and pay school fees at the same time. “I also had to take care of other family needs. In the next few months, things should become normal and I will enroll her in school again, ”he said.
Kashyap wants to get a government job in the future and work with a nationalized bank. “I hope he can still achieve his goal,” Pradeep said.