Pandemic and its effects on children’s lives.
The ongoing Pandemic is a public health emergency and global threat. Every person old or young has been drastically affected by its effects. Given the situation, children’s lifestyle has undergone a lot of changes, what with schools closed and kids being taught through online classes. This transition from classroom-based to online learning can be quite stressful for children as it is a change from their normal structure and they are not accustomed to the new way of learning.
The effects of this pandemic may very well threaten a child’s growth and development. Social restrictions, shutdowns and school closures are contributing to stress in parents and children leading to acute stress disorder, post-traumatic stress, anxiety disorders and depression among children. There are several factors such as isolation, school shutdown, reduced social life, reduced physical activities, change in routine, sleep difficulties, exposure to disharmony at home, excessive screen use and unhealthy diets that influence the physical and mental health of children.
Effects on kid’s mental and physical health
With kids being home bound the whole day their physical health is getting affected a lot. With no scope to go out n play kids are being subjected to a sedentary lifestyle leading to weight gain and also loss of muscular fitness. With playtime being sacrificed, kids are at home the whole day being bored and are being badly addicted to gadgets and the television.
Apart from physical health their mental health is also suffering. The fear of dying or losing a loved one is also being deeply felt by the kids. And with schools closed, not being able to meet their friends and seeing people they see on a regular basis is making them distant n lonely. Most kids need to be outside and with people to release their energy and socialize. But now this is impossible.
Hence kids are finding easy alternatives and sometimes even wrong ways to channelize their energy. They have taken to electronic gadgets more exposing them at a greater risk. Kids are not used to being at home all the time and working on the computer. They are habituated to learning in a classroom surrounded by the peers. To top it the online classes are getting tedious for the kids. Longer screen time is affecting their eyes n their posture as well as their ears. With kids no longer having to go to school, their schedule has gone haywire. Erratic sleep hours makes the children feel dull n tired all the time. Being in front of the screen is also affecting the neck n spine of the kids leading to bad posture.
Side effects of mobile screening
Long duration of online classes is affecting the eyes of the children. Prolonged reading on the mobile screen and watching it from a close range may result in a variety of problems like dry eye syndrome, burning sensation of eyes and frequent blinking of eyes. That is why a laptop or a desktop with a large screen should be preferred and also proper viewing distance should be maintained. Prolonged use of your phones can result in noise-induced deafness, tinnitus and ringing sounds in the ear.
For many students, online learning is only a formality and not a real substitute for regular teaching. Since the classes are no longer being held under the strict eye of the teacher children are becoming careless with their studies. Since some of the parents are overburdened with responsibilities they tend to become lenient towards the kids studies, thus making the kids studies hamper in the long run. Also with exams being held online at home, kids are no longer taking it as seriously as they did earlier because they know they have their parent’s guidance at disposal.
Affecting on Parents
These online classes of children are also affecting the parents who are subjected to anxiety. Parents who are not well equipped in handling these gadgets have had to adapt themselves to help children with the online classes, sometimes even having to put their work on a back burner. Some of them dont even have the essential resources for these online classes. With more than one kid at home having online classes, multiple devices are required leading to expenses that parents forcefully have to bear apart from the extra expenses of internet connection. In times when people are losing their jobs, these extra expenses are creating a mental pressure on the parents. Apart from this parents have to multitask.
Managing household chores alongside helping children with online classes is a bit tedious. To top it if there is a sick person or kids that need individual attention, parents are at a dilemma on how to tackle this situation especially since household helps not coming to work. Some teachers only share material to students without teaching it. Teachers trying to explain the projects and homework online, kids therefore have the excuse of not being able to understand the instructions. Thus the parents are having to do the projects and homework on their behalf, leading to extra burden on the parents. For many parents working at home also means adjusting the schedules to provide the children laptop and internet connectivity.
These online classes are making children lazy, dull and with no competitive spirit since they can no longer compare their progress with their peers.
It is obvious that the pandemic is affecting everyone, and everyone should come together so that we can overcome the pandemic. But we must not allow the situation to compromise the quality of learning for those in whose hands the future of our country lies.
School authorites should taken an action
The school authorities should take the child’s well being into consideration n reduce the frequency of the classes to maybe thrice a week. So that both parents n children can make the most of the online classes. Schools should also take into consideration the drawbacks of individual families and should help them acquire equipment and skills to be able to support their children learn online. Students should have access to materials without feeling discriminated against, left to feel helpless when they have questions, or unheard when they have an opinion or request. Its important for the school authorities to develop a positive bond with the students so as to help them emerge from this Pandemic as positive n victorious individual