Chandigarh: Lack of social interaction, excessive screen time causing stress in children, parents say

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Although physical lessons will resume for grades 10 to 12 from February 1, other students will continue with online lessons even as the end-of-year exams approach. Many students and parents say this causes stress, as physical lessons have been suspended since January 10 amid the Covid surge.

Since the first lockdown, parents often complain that sitting in front of the computer screen for long periods of time makes children more irritable, leading to mood swings and damaging their eyesight.

Due to the limited social interaction, parents say the children have become more introverted and since they don’t get enough exercise, their health also suffers.

However, according to Chandigarh Parents Association President, Nitin Goyal, the number of complaints has decreased as parents are now accustomed to the inconvenience of online classes.

Goyal said, “UT’s education department may set up a dedicated helpline for students where they can share issues related to Covid or online courses.”

Chandigarh District Education Officer (DEO) Prabhjot Kaur said phone numbers for teachers and school counselors have already been shared with all students and they have also been asked to check in regularly. to ensure the well-being of children.

The counselor at a public school, on condition of anonymity, said: ‘Students from the poorest socio-economic backgrounds suffer the most and many of them call us about issues they are facing with their families. or with online courses. Worksheets are prepared for students who cannot attend online classes. Other problems also include problems with certain subjects like math. She added that the number of calls received was higher during the second wave in 2021.

Chairman of the Chandigarh Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (CCPCR), Harjinder Kaur, said: “The commission is also concerned about the mental health of children, as online education cannot be compared to physical lessons. We are running virtual programs to further engage children and educate students and parents until offline classes can resume.

Dr Adarsh ​​Kohli, Professor of Clinical Psychology at PGIMER, said: “Children are deprived of social learning and observational learning and parents need to ensure that play and study methods more interactive are practiced at home. More video sessions with cousins, playmates and school friends should be encouraged.


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