Srinagar: Saima Gulzar, a 9th standard student, tried her hand at cooking to kill boredom during the lockdown.
YouTube came in handy. From Wazwan to Chinese cuisines, she mastered culinary art in the last two years. She became an instant celebrity chef in her friend circle. Her popularity grew manifold prompting her relatives to call her for preparing dishes for special occasions.
“The pandemic gave birth to a cook in me. Now, I can say with confidence that I am an expert cook in some dishes,” she said.
Saima is not an isolated case. According to National Achievement Survey (NAS) 2021, 53 percent of the students up to class 3rd across the union territory learnt special skills including painting, singing, cooking, indoor games, and yoga during the pandemic.
The survey said 57 percent of the students learnt curriculum during the pandemic, while 40 percent faced difficulties.
“Eighty-four percent of the students up to standard 3 followed COVID-19 guidelines while 99 percent understood the protocols for COVID-19 symptoms reporting. Ninety-eight percent of the students from Jammu and Kashmir were aware of the measures to be taken for the wellbeing of children and school staff,” the survey said.
While only 38 percent were happy being home, 98 percent knew about the school re-opening guidelines.
From the 5th standard onwards, the survey said that 53 percent of the students up to class 3rd across the union territory learned skills including painting, singing, cooking, indoor games, and yoga.
It said that 61 percent of the students from the 5th standard onwards learned during the pandemic, while 40 percent faced difficulties.
The survey said 87 percent of the students followed COVID-19 guidelines while 98 percent understood the protocols for COVID-19 symptoms reporting.
The NAS was conducted throughout the country for classes 3, 5, 8, and 10 on November 12 last year. About 34 lakh students of 1.18 lakh schools in 720 districts from both rural and urban areas participated in the survey.
The students from around 3676 government and private educational institutions across J&K participated in the National Achievement Survey (NAS). The survey was conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) in November last year.
Noted educationist, professor Tariq Ahmad Chalkoo said the students got ample leisure time to explore their talent.
“Students had enough leisure time during the pandemic. They used this resource to learn many more things. To keep themselves busy, they polished creativity, which is very good thing, ” he said.
The article originally appeared on The Kashmir Monitor