A class 5 student died of burn injuries after his phone bursts while he was attending online classes. Let us discuss the optimistic and pessimistic impacts of learning online.
The truth is, for many students, online learning is only a formality and not a real preference for regular teaching. Some teachers only share material with the students without teaching it. Online testing is sometimes based on the principle of “work it out yourself”. Students are not developing real and long-lasting understanding. Some students don’t even have the proper device to attend online classes.
Online learning is new, unknown and different for students, teachers and parents. It’s especially difficult for lower grade students. Parents have to spend most of their time with children and have to learn and master the subjects. Some people don’t have skills, need to seek help from relatives, friends, colleagues etc., some don’t have the means to provide their children with a computer or smartphone to attend classes.
For now, everyone is going on as if the most important thing is to teach what is the remaining curriculum, to get the final grades and finish the school year formally. Is that the right way to deal with this situation? Certainly not! In this big picture, perhaps, the biggest burden is put on teachers. They are in a situation where they are unprepared without proper support. Criteria and guidelines imposed by the institutions are not sufficient to deal with the situation effectively.
How do online classes affect students mental health?
Decreased self-esteem, increased incidence of alcohol and drug abuse, increased headaches, phobias and paranoia. Negative interactions such as cyberbullying, sexting and dealing with unwanted sexual solicitations, lack of human communication experienced in online school can cause increases in stress and anxiety.
Researchers views and suggestions :
This pandemic situation affects everyone. However, we must not allow the situation to compromise the quality of learning for those whose hands the future of our country lies. The Ministry of development and education should develop a well-designed platform with a given curriculum, as well as a fair and effective way of assessment. Vulnerable families should be supported with proper equipment. Students and young people should be consulted. They should not be assessed with numerical grades rather descriptive.
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