Published: 25th June 2021
Pandemic effect: 1 in 5 kids in India attended online classes from their beds, finds survey
The ongoing pandemic has been extremely challenging for kids. As they are home-schooled for the second consecutive year, they are grappling with innumerable issues
While schools went online during the COVID-19 pandemic, children were not just learning from home, but from the comfort of their beds — 22 per cent of students took online classes from their bed and 14 per cent sat on the floor, found a study. This was revealed in a survey done by Godrej Interio, which found that children studying from home are facing long-term mental and physical health concerns due to bad posture.
The survey — Taking care of children as they learn from home — attempted to study the home-schooling behaviour of 350 school-going children of the age group of 3-15 years from across India. Parents who were a part of this research revealed that their children used gadgets for a minimum of 4–6 hours a day which is 2-3 hours more than what they did before schools closed on account of the lockdown. This upped screen time can increase the risk of physical health issues in children. The study also revealed that 52 per cent of the children had daily online classes while 36 per cent had classes four times a week and as a result, 41 per cent of children complained of eye strain issues.
In a webinar hosted in response to the findings, Helping Children Adapt to Learning from Home, parents and caregivers were educated on the best ways to create an environment crucial for the overall wellbeing of children as they learn from home. The webinar also highlighted the importance of ergonomic learning spaces, the need for sensory diets and physical activity to create an environment of healthy learning for children.
Virtual schooling enabled learning to continue despite all odds, building on an important skill, not to mention academic targets, and for most progressive families and schools, it became a year of adaptation as homes transformed into schools and schools embraced tech platform to empower students, said Fatema Agarkar, Founder of Agarkar Centre of Excellence (ACE). "For me, striking the right note, and being flexible and open-minded has defined the journey for families that have coped and schools that enjoy parental support," she added.
If this time has taught us anything, it is that an anti-fragile mindset, agility, adaptability, empathy, self-awareness, self-regulation, focus and creativity are more important than Math, English, History and Geography, said Lina Ashar, Co-Founder, Korroboree. "We always have a choice in how we view situations and circumstances, and our children are most likely to adopt the same stories and ways of seeing things as their parents do. We have a choice to think about technology as increasing or decreasing the quality of our emotional health and wellbeing, learning and motivation. The way we perceive it will make all the difference in how we use it and the outcome this has for our children,” she added.
The ongoing pandemic has been extremely challenging for kids. As they are home-schooled for the second consecutive year, they are grappling with several issues which they maybe unable to freely express, added Chandni Bhagat, Prominent Child Psychologist. Sameer Joshi, Head – Associate Vice President, Marketing (B2B), Godrej Interio, said, “Around 53 per cent of the children we surveyed felt tired at the end of the day due to online classes. We hope these well-researched resources are widely used by parents and teachers alike and serve as guides to creating a better learning environment for children. These small and doable changes to the study environment that are detailed in the whitepaper will go a long way in keeping children healthy and happy in the long term.”