“With changing lifestyle patterns and excessive usage of digital screens by people of all age brackets, there is an exponential increase in the number of patients suffering from mild to severe vision problems which are preventable or treatable.”– October 2020, Dr Mahipal Singh Sachdev, President AIOS & Chairman, Centre For Sight Group of Hospitals.
Other than the core problem of a pandemic like CoViD-19, the humankind faces associated challenges to go through the times of crises, which although, are being mitigated through common online solutions, but not without their side effects, especially in the sector of education, particularly for pre-primary children.
Challenges for Online Live class :
- Highly dependent on
- internet traffic,
- network speed,
- gadget availability etc.
- therefore insfrastructure at home, that is not always feasible for all parents, in developing countries.
- Strain on eyes of pre-primary children for a continuously long time period – notable that eyes are much closer to mobile / computer screen than a television set.
- Loss of class when absent during
- sick leaves of children, or
- emergency cases of parents, especially amidst a pandemic uncertainty.
- Supposedly higher cost of initiation / operation, hence substantially higher school fees, that may not be affordable by all parents of heterogenous financial capacities, especially under a pandemic economy.
The strenuous long-term effect of online live real-time classes on preprimary children’s eyesight are seemingly overlooked by many, due to lack of historical cases about such. During this pandemic, everyone, every school is passing through experiences that are new, and policies whose consequences are new, unseen in the past. It would take about no more than 10 years for the adverse effects, of excessive screentime/earplugtime under the guise of education, to be significantly observable and by that time, it could be a bit late for that generation, thereby leading to movements for reform/improvements from next generation onwards. Therefore, it is better to have faith on trained teaching skills and intuitions of the professionals than comparing unproven different methods of different schools, better to stay safe than taking risks with little children, especially in the landscape of underdeveloped/developing countries where digital practice is still very young.
Feel free to share your experience as a parent.
- Upcoming What is an Alternative for Online Challenges in Pre-Primary School ?
- AIOS – All India Ophthalmology Society