Online classes increase screen time of students, parents concerned

Online classes increase screen time of students, parents concerned

Parveen Arora

Tribune News Service

Karnal, May 10

Online classes have increased the screen time of students amid the ongoing Covid pandemic lockdown, raising concern of parents.

Prolonged study on smartphones or tabs is different from studying in classrooms. The study involves staring at the screen for a prolonged period and this can lead to tear film instability and worsening of dry eye and allergic conjunctivitis among students. — Dr Summet Khanduja, Associate Professor , KCGMC

Before the lockdown, most of the students used to spend some time on social media and online games, but now, the parents see a jump of around three to four hours extra time their wards are spending online. Eye specialists feel the increase in screen time may be dangerous for the eyes of students.

Students say the study in classrooms is better than the online classes. “I start my online class at 10am daily and it takes around three-and-a-half hour to complete my assignments. The online classes are stressful, while study in classrooms is better and interactive,” said Palaksha, a student of Class V.

Another student Eklavya, a student of Class IX said, “I spend around four hours on screen to attend my classes online. Besides, I have to devote two more hours to online tuition classes. The study in classroom is more effective.”

A teacher of one of the reputed schools said they had no option, but to teach the students online. “We also have to prepare a lot for the online classes. Earlier, we were not used to the online classes, but the lockdown has forced us to switch to online classes,” said a teacher.

The eye specialists say prolonged study on smartphones or tabs can lead to dry eyes and allergic conjunctivitis. “Prolonged study on smartphones or tabs is different from studying in classrooms. The study involves staring at the screen for a prolonged period and this can lead to tear film instability and worsening of dry eye and allergic conjunctivitis among students,” said Dr Summet Khanduja, associate professor and head of the department of KCGMC

He cautioned that the students should take a break after every 20-minute and blink their eyes to maintain moisture in the eye.

“The prolonged staring at the screen from a close distance may lead to eye muscle spasms, which can further lead to eye pain, redness or headache,” he further said.

Declare lockdown period as holiday, says educationist

Vijay Kapur, chairman, DAV schools, Yamunanagar, urged the government to declare the period of prolonged lockdown as holiday for educational institutes. He said the lockdown had brought education sector to a standstill. He said some schools had mooted the innovative plan for imparting education to students on online platform and this picture was not that bright, as it only covered rich students which were mostly enrolled to public schools.

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