Unavailability of gadgets, kids’ increased screen time rising concerns among parents in Ludhiana
With schools in Ludhiana district slated to remain closed till July 31, some households are faced with an academic blackout in the absence of technologyUpdated: Jul 04, 2020 01:04 IST
At a time when Covid-19 has disrupted the school academic year, teachers are focusing on e-learning methods on digital platforms to stay connected with students.
With schools in the district slated to remain closed till July 31, some households are faced with an academic blackout in the absence of technology.
Harmeet Kaur Waraich, principal of Nankana Sahib Public School, said, “Online classes are the best option to connect with the students, and teachers are working hard to prepare the lessons. For primary classes, sessions are conducted once a week, for others, three times a week. Recorded lectures are also being sent to the students.”
Paramjit Kaur, principal of BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar, said, “With everything going digital, we need to assure efficiency in learning methods, too. Teachers are making a lot of efforts to conduct classes and sufficient breaks are being given to students after every class to relax.”
For teachers, too, preparing videos and taking classes online is a challenge. A teacher of a private school, Ankita Khosla, said, “Being a mathematics teacher, I have to take three classes in a day. To conduct them, I prepare videos and gather a lot of content to bring clarity to the students regarding the topic. I follow a proper schedule and remain in touch with my students.”
However, parents argue that due to the unavailability of smartphones and computers/laptops, many students are unable to attend the online classes. Besides, there is growing concern about the increasing screen time of students.
A parent, Gurminder Kaur, said, “I have two kids and both of them have been asked by the school authorities to attend online classes from 8.30am to 11.30am from July 1. Earlier, the schools were sending only online material and no interactive classes were conducted. We do not have a computer or laptop at home, and my elder daughter uses my phone to attend the class, while the other one has to miss the class. I have raised this issue with the class teacher, but it is not possible for them to change the timings.”
Another parent, Ishneet Sharma, said, “Online education is a boon. My daughter is studying in Sacred Heart Convent School and children need a positive direction which is being provided through online classes. In the current scenario, it’s the virtual classes that are keeping them positively engaged and helping them learn and move forward. However, the pace of moving ahead for each student could be different. Online classes have certain drawbacks: harmful effects on the eyes and health, but children if left completely free, will be at a loss.”
With online classes, the screen time for children has also increased in the last three months, thereby adversely affecting their eyesight. Dr Priyanka Arora of ophthalmology at DMCH said, “We are receiving four to five children in the OPD, complaining of eye strain. Children are spending a lot of time on gadgets; even classes are being held online. There is a need for parents to engage their children in creative activities in leisure time to bring down the number of screening hours. While conducting online classes, school teachers should also give frequent breaks so children can rest for 10-15 minutes.”