Ever since the pandemic hit the world, no one has been spared of 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 by the world against the pandemic. Virtual lessons and online classes became the new norm. Kashmir has no different a story to tell. Parents, students, and schools have their perceptions and apprehensions as is the case across the world.
Before the pandemic hit Kashmir, parents were already complaining about the effects of overexposure to electronic gadgets, and overuse of internet, on their children. Post pandemic, their worries increased as the internet and usage of digital devices became part of the schooling. They are 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 too 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 too. Shifting from a physical classroom to a simulated one and staring endlessly on their digital devices is not the optimal way of learning. Not to forget the internet speed in Kashmir, which deals the final blow in the entire online schooling process. Inaudible teachers, buffering videos and non-interactive classes would be the last thing parents would 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 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 to the parents. Parents had to arrange the electronic gadgets and foresee time to be present during the classes. They must also 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 a 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.
Durfashan Tariq is PG student in English Literature