For the past few weeks, Harsh Khara’s life has been forcefully cocooned in a technology-free blanket.
His television’s Tata Sky digicard has been taken away and he is allowed internet access for a limited time strictly for taking online mock tests. “It’s been drastic for everyone,” said Khara, 15, a Class 10 CBSE student, speaking of restrictions imposed by parents on using tech gizmos in the run-up to the board exams. “I luckily still have my phone though, so am able to operate facebook from there.”
With the board exams looming large, parents are pulling the plug of students’ wired lives and confiscating ‘distractions’ such as Blackberry phones, ipods and computer games. The HSC exams begin on Tuesday, the SSC, ICSE and CBSE exams begin soon after.
“My father has shut down the computer and has pulled the plug on cable,” rued Billabong school student Sumeet Savant.
Another ICSE exam giving student who did not wish to be named, said his parents have whisked away his ipod and laptop, but admitted that the clampdown was helping. “I’ve been missing my stuff but it’s also been useful to do without it because there are fewer distractions,” he said. “The good thing is that once the boards get over, my parents have promised me a whole lot of new stuff when they return my old gadgets.”
Some have voluntarily abdicated their potentially distracting belongings or have said they will do so if temptation trumps concentration. “My computer hasn’t gone yet, though my mother has asked me to limit my time on it,” said Mitul Jhaveri, 16, a student of Activity High School, Gamadia Road, appearing for the ICSE exams. Jhaveri is trying hard to limit his daily three-hour net surfing to about 30 minutes. “If I feel I cant control myself then I will ask my parents to put a password on my computer so that I can’t log on.”