For decades, schools have had a monopoly on children’s education and have been considered as a vital stepping stone for a child’s psychological, sociological, educational, and physical growth. But as the iconic Axl Rose once said, “Nothing lasts forever”, the entire concept of school/college education has been turned on its head with one of the deadliest pandemics in the last 100 years, Coronavirus or Covid-19. An outbreak that brought the global machinations to a grinding halt and especially had a tremendous impact on the education system, especially schools and colleges.
Since March 2020, India’s entire school system has been paralyzed, paving the way for the online education or e-Learning boom. With entire cities under strict lockdown, students across the country found the Internet as the sole means of learning via online schooling, tuition classes, and the newly introduced private interactive online education.
From the day the concept of online education took off, there’s been a strong debate between the ones in favor and the naysayers. Having said that, the prolonged online education has to have had some sort of impact on the psyche of students, and whether it’s positive or negative, depends on the recipient.
Research indicates that the students are more comfortable around their peers in a professional education setting than sitting in front of a screen at home. The social ecosystem in a school, which is punctuated by regimen, discipline, group activities, and a deep social connect aid in the psychological growth of the student and prepares them for the real world post-education.
A majority of economic classes in the Indian society are comprised of the economically weak sections, where high-speed Internet access is still pretty much a dream. As per government figures, only 24% of the total households in the country have access to smartphones and just 11.5% of the families nationwide with children between the age of 5 to 18 have an up-to-date computer with Internet access.
The Covid-19 outbreak confined students to their homes, where online education became a part of their new reality. While the ease of online learning has seen an overwhelming approval from students, yet from a parental perspective, e-Learning is has been greatly questioned in regards to the health risks it poses for the students. Lack of physical activity, higher screen times, and a tossed-over routine are now finally showing their impact.
Students are now frequently complaining about headaches and eye concerns induced by long-term screen exposure, with a lot many cases cropping up of backaches, largely due to the possibly wrong sitting postures taken by students while being comfortable on a couch. Furthermore, as per a recent survey, 27% of the participating students complaint of ear-related issues brought on by excessive use of ear/headphones during long hours of online classes.
One of the primary reasons for the rise of health concerns among students during the ongoing online schooling schedule can be attributed to the haphazard nature of class timings, lack of rest between classes, and various other factors. The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study recommends students to get only two hours of screen time per day while encouraging at least one hour of exercise, between 9 to 11 hours of sleep at night.
However, as none of these recommendations had been taken into consideration for the online schooling guidelines, the after-effects are now rising at an alarming rate. The mental toll of back-to-back online classes on students has also been quite significant. A majority of students have expressed frequent bouts of frustration and increased levels of exhaustion. The lack of social interaction and outdoor activities has also contributed to the rising cases of health issues among students.
If you’ve observed similar symptoms in your child, and are worried about the impact of the online schooling on your ward, then getting a full-body health check-up for him or her is the best decision you can make. Get a complete picture of your child’s health, and follow the suggestions in this article for a smoother and more efficient online schooling experience.