Madurai

Online classes: as novelty fades, concern grows

Hour after hour: With online classes becoming the norm in the COVID-19 pandemic-induced scenario, parents are concened overe online safety and health implications.

Hour after hour: With online classes becoming the norm in the COVID-19 pandemic-induced scenario, parents are concened overe online safety and health implications.  

Normal classroom is where a child learns social behaviour, says a parent

With the closure of schools owing to COVID-19 pandemic, online classes have become the new norm for students of private schools in Madurai. The schools have a mix of live and pre-recorded classes for students from kindergarten to Class 12.

However, there are growing concerns among parents and teachers regarding online safety and health impacts of the evolving virtual teacher-student interface. A section of parents and teachers say online classes help in keeping the students engaged during lockdown. “This way they also keep in touch with the subjects,” says R. Santhosh Kanna, a parent.

However, many others feel online classes might have a long-term effect on the children’s health. S. Bhuvana, a parent of a Class 3 student of a CBSE school, says her son complains of eye strain after attending the online classes. “If online classes continue for many more months, then it will have profound health complications. All these days we have been telling our children to stay away from gadgets, but ironically we now ask them to use them to attend the online classes,” she says.

Since video can be muted, many students tend to lie down on bed or have a bad posture while attending the classes, she adds.

While some students use laptops or tablets, a majority of the students use smart phones to attend these sessions, aggravating eye-strain for them, says K. Saravanan, Headmaster of Dr. T. Thirugnanam Primary School.

Pop-up advts.

The pop-up advertisements and links appearing during the online classes are not appropriate for children, says Victoria Gnana Deborah, whose two children study at a matriculation school. “This prompts for continuous parent surveillance, which becomes difficult when classes are held for many hours,” she adds. She says students lose their attention easily. “Since their outdoor activities are restricted due to the lockdown, they are also disinterested in attending the classes,” she adds.

Online classes can never replace a normal classroom and rather it only increases the stress of students, says C. Indira Pandiarajan, a Headmaster and member of Global Nursery and Primary Schools’ Association. “When children, especially those studying in primary classes, are engaged in online classes, their thinking skill is affected, besides impacting them psychologically. Moreover, a normal classroom is where a child learns social behaviour,” she adds.

Parents say the duration and number of classes must be reduced “During testing times like these, online classes must be exempted at least for students below Class 6,” says Ms. Bhuvana.

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Printable version | Aug 4, 2020 1:29:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/online-classes-as-novelty-fades-concern-grows/article31995707.ece

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