No respite for students from prolonged screen time

Schools in rush to complete syllabus, Government inactive


Srinagar: There seems to be no respite for school children who have to attend virtual classes on smartphones and computer screens for a prolonged time as educational institutions continue to remain closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The parents have complained that the schools are overburdening the students, particularly of primary classes, affecting their mental health besides taking a toll on their physical health as well.

“The schools deliver lengthy classes without a break which has disturbed the students. The schools are following the virtual timetable like that of routine schedule which was followed before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Muhammad Sadiq, a parent from Habba Kadal, Srinagar.

The parents are also observing behavioural changes among children, like negative attitudes, bunking online classes, misusing the gadgets meant for educational purposes, and aggression.

“The kids have become aggressive and get irritated as they get exhausted with lengthy online classes,” he said.

The students are given only a 10-minute break during more than three hours of continuous classes.

Many parents said that the schools schedule one online session for more than three hours which adversely affects the eyesight of the children.

“We can’t have students glued to screens for the entire day. The schools should differentiate between the normal offline schedule of classes and the virtual classes,” said Yaseen Ahmad, a parent from Sopore.

“During normal days, the students attend classes from 10 am to 3 pm with a break of half an hour but the schools engage students for lengthy online classes for the same duration with only a break of 10 minutes,” he said.

The parents said that after finishing one class, their children complain of headaches and other ailments.

“Their eyesight is also getting affected because they remain glued to screens for a long duration,” said Hafeez Ahmad, another parent.

The parents complained that the private schools were rushing through the syllabus by sending videos in large numbers and holding long-duration classes through Zoom or other apps.

“Nobody is taking note of this grave issue. The authorities have failed to provide a respite to the students,” the parents said.

On top of it, the internet services also remain snapped in various parts of Srinagar downtown and Pampore, Kulgam, and Shopian districts.

“The school children are not able to attend classes due to non-availability of internet services,” another parent said.

Principal Secretary, School Education Department, Bishwajit Kumar Singh told Greater Kashmir that the issue would be looked into.

“We will try to keep online classes of one hour or one and half hour duration for students up to class 5th,” he said.

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