Willesden, London ( UK ): The Brahma Kumaris, in Pound Lane, Willesden, held a pupil-led online event to discuss: ‘Responding to Covid: Meeting the Needs of our Youth’.
The students outlined the many ways their educational life has changed due to Covid, from zoom calls and social distancing to mental health discussions and art installations.
Year 11 pupil at Newman Catholic College (NCC), Dillon Donnelly-Trimble, said: “I believe that in these unprecedented times we must adapt and be resilient.
“School has been strange, but we must not stop fighting back. Nothing should stop us from getting an education.”
Year 6 pupil from Preston Park Primary (PPP) Dhruvi Patel said: “Mental health (discussions) are one thing that has had a positive effect, as people are now sharing how they feel through different lessons.
“Students know how to grasp their emotions and how to show and deal with them in a positive manner.”
Tonna Ezeajughi, 16, chair of the Brent Youth Parliament, said he was concerned disadvantaged young people would fall behind as they might not have the facilities at home to do the work set.
His school in Gunnersbury has begun a scheme plan where students can borrow laptops to work at home, as well as supporting students with longer schools days and Saturday lessons.
Tonna said: “This keeps everyone in the same boat to reach their full potential in the upcoming assessments.”
NCC’s Danny Coyle and PPP’s Georgina Nutton, both headteachers, praised their students for “bouncing back” into school life.
To support their pupils they increased Covid-19 safety measures and added artistic inspiration to their respective schools of calming classical music and inspirational murals.
Rithvik Gudlavalleti, a student of Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University and third-year of Southampton University, spoke on how communication was the key to supporting each other through this time.
Rithvik said: “(The pandemic) is just highlighting how much importance we’re giving to gratitude, to family, to friends, to our community because we’re all in it together.”
The event was chaired by Brent Council’s Councillor Ketan Sheth with special messages from Brent Mayor Ernest Ezeajughi and Sister Jayanti, European Director of the Brahma Kumaris.
Councillor Sheth said: “While young people are presumed, largely, to have avoided the worst health impacts of the coronavirus, the pandemic has affected them severely in many different ways.”
BK Sister Jayanti praised the students on their “uplifting positive responses in a very difficult situation” and offered some words of wisdom followed by a guided meditation.