The whole world has been fighting Covid 19 for more than two years now. He spared no one, be it adults, the elderly or children. Schools, universities and other educational institutions have also been closed since the onset of Covid. This could have helped curb the spread of the virus, but it also gave rise to many problems such as lack of hands-on exposure, lack of communication, increased sedentary lifestyle and affected learning ability. .
Parents and children fear that if this online lesson arrangement lasts for an extended period of time, it could affect the mental and physical health of the children. Dr Deepti Puranik, Assistant Professor and Psychologist says: “The pandemic and lockdowns have had a major impact on the psychological, emotional and social growth of children. Learnings from an offline class can never be learned through an online mode.
Baleen Kaur (25), freelance makeup artist and mother of a three-year-old daughter, says: “Due to pandemic restrictions, my daughter is unable to experience the outside world. Going to kindergarten can help her make new friends, learn faster, and adapt easily to social skills, but it hasn’t been possible yet.
Tanmya Singh (32), IT professional and father of five-year-old Tiara, says: “It’s the start of my child’s school life, but unfortunately she can’t enjoy this fresh start. She learns and experiences everything in the virtual classes and I’m afraid it may affect her ability to learn.
The impact of confinement on children is surely creating problems. Classrooms have been confined to one room and one screen and because of this, their response to the outside world is affected. Parents expressed that children often do not respond to teachers because they have not seen or met them personally. It indicates a lack of communication that causes children to process and learn things slowly.
Dr. Puranik says, “Students are more likely to deal with social anxiety because they have lost the ability to keep in touch with people.” She explained that the inconveniences children face due to virtual classrooms can be seen at four different levels – social, academic, physical and psychological.
Social– Children have not learned to share because they are stuck at home alone. This will impact their ability to work in a team, which is very important for overall development.
Academic– The kind of co-action effect that is needed for academics is lost in online learning. Apart from this, the motor skills that are developed when students inculcate writing habits are also reduced.
Physical- The major impact has certainly been physical, as students are more attuned to the internet and online games. It certainly affected their eyesight. Apart from this, physical development is delayed when students do not play outdoor games.
Psychological- An overall psychological impact was observed in many children with less self-control and increased anxiety.
Online classes have not only affected children, but also the student crowd.
Ridhi Verma (18), a student, says: “The pandemic has impacted both positively and negatively on my ability to learn. I am a sportswoman but because of the pandemic, for two years, I had very few opportunities in the sports section. Now, exploration is limited to the online world only.
While addressing the issues, she added, “Whenever we have doubts between classes, it becomes difficult to convey due to communication gaps.” While discussing the positive aspect of online courses, she said, “Due to the closure of universities, I saved my travel expenses and a lot of time, which helped me gain experience in extracurricular activities like reading novels and learning new languages”.
Varnika Mohan (19), a university student, says: “The lockdown has affected our mental and physical health. Our study routines were ruined. It ultimately impacted our process of picking things up and learning things properly. Also, due to the virtual lessons, the understanding of the subject becomes very difficult and we are no longer able to operate as we used to in offline mode. »
Dr. Puranik suggests: “Parents need to be extra careful and spend more time with their children. This would help students adapt to online classes and maintain balance.