A vast majority of schools simply passed the buck. As a result, the burden of teaching shifted on to parents
Ever since the Covid pandemic hit the world, no one has been spared from its direct or indirect effects. Schooling and pedagogy is one such area that saw a dynamic change as a result of the measures that were taken against the pandemic. Virtual lessons and online classes became the new norm. Kashmir has no different story to tell. Parents, students, and schools have their apprehensions as is the case across the world.
Before the pandemic hit Kashmir, parents were already complaining about the overexposure of electronic gadgets and the internet on their children. Post pandemic, their worries increased as the internet and usage of digital devices became part of schooling. They continue to be skeptical about the productivity of online learning and the effect this new way of learning will have on their wards.
Students have their side of the tale, too. While the senior students are still adjusting to virtual learning, juniors who just started their educational journey accept this as the only way of schooling. This may have its repercussions when things become normal and toddlers return to the real classrooms. They will have to unlearn and relearn all over again the art of learning.
Senior students have their own challenges. Shifting from a physical classroom to a simulated one and staring endlessly at their digital devices is not the optimal way of learning. Not to forget the internet speed in Kashmir, which hampers the entire online schooling process. Inaudible teachers, buffering videos, and non-interactive classes are the last thing parents wish for their children.
No doubt some schools went out of their way to make the new method of learning as positive as possible. They devised new processes and methods to ensure they keep their students engaged and that the learning process continues. But there is a vast majority of schools that just passed the buck. As a result, the burden of teaching shifted on to the parents. Parents had to arrange the electronic gadgets and make time to be present during the classes. They also had to help with the homework, which many felt increased manifold in this mode of learning.
Long story short, post-pandemic things have changed drastically. We can’t deny the fact that the internet plays a vital role in our day to day lives now. It has become part of our schooling system, too. But there is a constant fear about over usage of technology especially by the young ones.
Are we over-exposing our kids to the digital world? As a parent, it is a natural tendency to protect our children from all unforeseen situations, but is that enough? Only fear and complaining won’t do. Parents need to put some reasonable efforts into inculcating digital habits. If parents adopt productive internet habits, their wards will eventually copy and follow. As they say, young ones imitate the elders.
The writer is studying for a Master’s in English literature at Cluster University Srinagar. [email protected]