Training parents to deal with perils of online learning

It’s been over a year since online learning became the new normal in schools, which, along with the social changes brought about by the pandemic, have had a serious impact on students. The Kerala Sasthra Sahitya Parishad (KSSP) is now training parents to deal with the perils of digital education.

The parent empowerment campaign, titled ‘Makkalkkoppam’ and launched initially in Kozhikode district earlier this month, is being expanded across the State from next month. Parishad functionaries said here on Thursday that 60,000 parents from Kozhikode had so far been trained ever since the campaign kick-started on July 1. A study conducted by the Parishad had found that students were under pressure following the launch of online classes as they had to simultaneously deal with tuition classes and other assignments as well. Over a period of time, most of them had become disinclined towards learning. Since the students were deprived of the school atmosphere that often help them survive the stress, their condition deteriorated. Apart from this, the situation at home too was not very comforting as there were parents who had to face job loss, and decline in income. The inability to venture out and have a social life too had an impact. The workload of most mothers rapidly went up. Many parents were also unable to help students cover their online assignments. All these affected children. Differently abled children and those who have learning disabilities were pushed to the corner, the study revealed.

As a result, at least some children were branded lazy and naughty and pulled up by parents. Behavioural changes such as anger, fear, and indiscipline were seen in some others because of sleeping and waking up late, lack of or excess sleep, and day-time sleep. Information on COVID in the media scared many. Reading declined and many children became addicted to mobile phones and video games. This had an adverse impact on their eye sight. Changing food habits too had an impact on their health, the study pointed out.

K.T. Radhakrishnan, central executive committee member, KSSP, said that 60 resource persons led classes for parents in schools with the study notes prepared by experts from the Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences and the Department of Psychiatry at the Government Medical College Hospital. As many as 625 schools in Kozhikode had been covered so far. The district-level closing ceremony would be held on July 31 and the State-level launch on August 4 in Thiruvananthapuram, he added.

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Printable version | Sep 18, 2021 8:37:34 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/training-parents-to-deal-with-perils-of-online-learning/article35616123.ece

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