Rajasthan education dept issues advisory for parents, teachers against online games
Parents and teachers in Rajasthan have been advised not to let children become addicted to online games in order to avoid what is known as “gaming disorder”.
In this age of technology, online gaming is very popular among children. The closure of schools due to the Covid-19 pandemic has increased the use of mobile and internet among children, due to which the trend of online gaming among children has also increased rapidly. These online games are easily available to children and are played on devices like computers, tablets, and mobile phones, a release issued by the education department stated.
These games are designed in such a way that they excite the player to the extent of passion to play further. This is the reason why players become addicted to it and eventually suffer from gaming disorder due to which the educational and social life of the child is adversely affected, said the release.
In order to prevent the increasingly negative effects of online gaming in children and to make parents and teachers aware in this regard, an advisory has been issued by the Rajasthan School Education Council in which effective ways to overcome the ill effects of online gaming have been shared.
The advisory contains the do’s and don’ts for parents and teachers to protect their children from online gaming addiction.
“The parents and teachers are asked to keep a watch if the child is behaving abnormally and whether they are mostly involved in online activities. They must also watch out for a sudden increase in time spent online, especially on social media or if they switch the screen or the window on being or turn aggressive after using the internet,” the advisory stated.
Child specialist, Dr Ashok Gupta said too much screen view is increasing among children which has resulted in physical and mental illnesses such as obesity, depression, anxiety, insomnia, sleep, and stress disorders. “We need to make proactive intervention, control and move them from online to real-time. The children need to be associated with sports,” he said.
Rajasthan Teacher Association (Shekhawat), spokesperson, Prakash Mishra said children are into mobile and screen for a long these days which not only affects their eyes but also their attention and development of the brain – this leads to irritation and aggressive nature. Due to the pandemic, they were into mobiles. In school, they play together, study, and eat together, which strengthens their social behaviour,” he added.
A mother of a 9-year-old boy, Poonam Dhaiya, said, “due to the pandemic, the children who used to spend more time in playgrounds are now spending most of their time using mobile phones or laptops. They are only supposed to attend online classes but there are chances that they may dive into other activities like gaming, instead of completely focusing on class. The parents cannot watch their children all the time and this creates a scope for children to get engaged in other activities without any monitoring of elders,” she said.
Keep an eye on reducing grades and social behaviour of the child, and inform the school authorities. Establish an internet gateway at home that will help in effective monitoring, logging, and use of content by the child, the advisory said. Ensure that the child uses a computer that is placed in the family space.
The advisory directs parents to use antivirus and firewall programs and configure the browser safely. “Take a screenshot (pressing print screen on keyboard) if something goes wrong while playing the online game and ask children to use a screen name instead of the real name. Inform if a stranger initiates inappropriate talks or asks for personal details”.
The guidelines suggest asking children not to use a webcam, personal messaging or online chatting with strangers as it increases the possibilities of threat and misbehaviour from other players.