Gradually, over time, we have witnessed how the things we did everyday got easier. We didn’t have to go to the movies to purchase tickets anymore, nor did we have to be near someone to be able to speak to them while looking at them. Technological advancement began to pervade every sphere of our lives, making everything a whole lot more accessible. But little did we imagine, that almost a decade later, we were going to be completely confined within this online space, with hardly any access to the real world outside.
This is how the pandemic has transformed our lives. Of every change that has been thrusted our way, schools and educational institutions going online is something we never would have thought of. While this may save up the time we would spend on commutes, it brings an entirely different range of limitations along with it. Network issues, unable to unmute, not enough data are just a few to name. There’s also the set of difficulties that a vast demographic face in our country. These arise from not even being able to access online classes, due to the lack of resources and not being able to afford a gadget. A gap in digital literacy, as it is referred to, is something roughly over 50% of the children in India face.
But what worries me most, when thinking about online schooling is how children miss out on so much. Simply put, they receive grossly inadequate stimulation during a period in life where maximum stimulation of the senses and the cognitive capacities is ideal. It's not a pencil or a friend’s hand they get to hold, instead it’s either a computer mouse or a phone. They’re not present in a classroom, sitting right next to a window that offers visually stimulating distractions, anymore, but instead, are seated in front of a two dimensional screen, sometimes, for periods of time that drain them.
The internet and our gadgets can be a promising source of knowledge, but keeping in touch with the conventional practices of learning is also imperative. Children need to be able to socialize with other kids their own age. Even though a major part of their day is now being spent on online classes, children need to be able to spend some time engaging in activities that revitalize them. Because, after all, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
What are some ways you think parents can make up for this lack of stimulation in children? Comment down below. - Krithika Ramesh