A private school, which had introduced tablets as a replacement for textbooks, withdrew the move on Thursday after a protest by parents.
The Sri Chaitanya Techno School at Bannerghatta Road, which follows the CBSE syllabus, had introduced the tablets for students between Classes 3 and 6. Parents felt that the move would end with children getting addicted to such devices. There’s also the cost factor: parents allege that they would have to pay an average of Rs. 15,000 for the device and the content or pre-loaded syllabus.
Satish H.P., a parent said that while he is not against tablets and other such learning devices, he is wary of introducing it to his child at such an early age.
“Replacing textbooks with tablets can be detrimental to the child’s learning. The school initially said it was mandatory. Later, they made it optional. But we do not want students in one class to have different learning experiences,” he said.
‘Addicted to the screen’
Gauri Kamath, another parent, was worried that the children would become addicted to the screen. “There are so many other ways in which students can be taught,” she said, questioning why the management had not introduced tablets to high school students if they believed it would improve learning.
There are also fears that a child’s eyesight would be affected if he or she is constantly reading from the screen. In the light of these concerns, they started an online petition and wrote a letter to the Education Department.
The school management said that the move was taken based on their interpretation of CBSE guidelines, which had asked schools to introduce alternatives to reduce weight of school bags. “In a digitalised world, the tablets would have helped students visualise their lessons, as we have our own content designed from the textbooks. Parents should have observed this for a year before deciding what is best for their child,” said Sunil Kumar, Assistant General Manager, Sri Chaitanya Techno group of schools.
He denied that the school would profit from the move. Tabs were introduced in all 17 branches of the group and claimed that there is no resistance from parents in other schools.