Online classes aren’t effective: Psychiatrist
Hyderabad: Children in Telangana are stressed out as their wait for schools to reopen has prolonged.
“Everything is online: Classes, homework and even talking to my friends,” Akshith Reddy, a sixth-standard student, informed The Observer.
Sai Sandeep, 10, said he and his brother have to share the only mobile device at home. “I miss playing with my friends. It’s so boring at home. I want to go back to school.”
Lahari Addla, who studies in class X in Sri Chaitanya Techn School, said: “This is my last year in school. I had a lot of plans, and now it ended up like this.” Her father has fallen victim to Covid-19 and that worries her. Even if schools reopen, she isn’t sure whether she should attend physical classes as she sees her father suffering.
While schools in some states are gradually reopening, Telangana’s schools are closed for more than seven months. The state government has asked all schools to conduct online classes. The Centre permitted states to open schools from October 15 but left it to the states to decide depending on the Covid-19 situation.
Dr. A.K. Sumanth, a psychiatrist, said: “Research shows a child’s brain cannot concentrate on devices more than 15-20 minutes. So how can an online class be effective?” Two-way communication, which plays a crucial role in the learning process, is not possible through online classes.
Hasini Movva, 14, spends the entire day attending online classes. “My eyes ache and I feel like throwing all the devices away. Once I am done with school, my tuition starts which is also online,” she shared. Online education is more exhausting than playing outdoor games and traveling to school.
Aadhya Yogitha, a tutor, said: “I see my students are already stressed out, so I try to keep things simple and do not burden them with homework.” But it’s tough to teach maths via WhatsApp calls. I am still adapting to changes and finding better apps for effective learning.”
Dr. Sumanth suggested parents spend more time with their children in a situation like this. They should send their children out to play “Children need to drain out their… energy; if they don’t, they become hyperactive which isn’t a good thing.”
A Hindi teacher, Renu Sinha, said she tries to give her students little homework, and clears all their doubts. Since they are stressed out, it would be good if schools reopen soon.
Lahari said: “I just want to meet my friends, have lunch together like we used to, and play with them.” Hansini has similar thoughts: “I usually don’t like going to school, but now I am eagerly waiting for schools to reopen.”
Archana Deshpande, a mother of a seven-year-old, said: “Thanks to technology, without stepping out of the house, my child is still able to learn many things.” Both online and offline classes have their advantages and disadvantages. She is happy she can spend more time with her daughter.
Though the number of Covid-19 cases in Telangana has been decreasing, the state government is unsure about reopening schools. In neighboring Andhra Pradesh, there are instances of students testing positive after schools reopened. With experts predicting a second Covid-19 wave soon, the reopening of schools in Telangana looks uncertain.