Lack of direct interaction between students and teachers, missing values of friendship and sharing, and inactivity are some aspects parents worry about as their children learn online these days.
Ever since schools shut down due to the pandemic, online education has been the way forward. Though there area number of advantages for students like not having to carry heavy schoolbags, parents have noted several issues related to children’s social behaviour.
Parents claim that children being cut away from the world, including peers, is a setback for their overall growth.
“A child, in his early years, needs to interact and play with his friends, get experiences and feel life. Sadly the pandemic has affected all of us, but the main fear is about our children. Now they are lagging behind in social skills. We are social animals and our growth happens with our good and bad times with people. Though as adults we can adjust, for children this is a matter of concern as they are slowly being isolated,” said Pradeep M Verma, whose son is in the second grade at Indian School Wadi Kabir.
Online education, another parent said, makes children lazy. Running around school with friends, attending classes in different rooms, playing games during sports period and extracurricular activities challenge the body and mind of the child.
Rashid Khan, whose children go to Pakistan School Muscat, said, “My daughters used to take part in extracurricular activities. This made them energetic and spontaneous. But now with online classes, nothing happens and they just sit at the desk and often stop the video and go for breaks.”
Another concern is students are not serious.
“I feel when a student has a teacher in front of him or her, they are more studious. It is almost impossible to monitor a child online. A child needs a mentor to advice, guide as well as teach him physically,” said Seema, whose son studies in grade six at Indian School Muscat.
Nazim Qureshi, vice principal of Indian School Wadi Kabir International, said, “We human beings connect with emotions achieved through social bonding. We have not developed yet to bond virtually. Hence I must say that a student performs well when he has a teacher. Teachers are trying their best to establish this bond online through activities and creating certain scenarios during teaching.”
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