School closure altered normal trajectory of students’ development, says study

School closure altered normal trajectory of students’ development, says study

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Ravneet Singh

Tribune News Service

Patiala, April 21

A collaborative research carried out by an associate professor of Punjabi University and a professor at Royal Holloway University of London, UK, has found out that school closure during the lockdown has altered the normal trajectory of development of many students.

The research project titled ‘Covid-19 lockdown and the reconstruction of Urban middle-class home in India’ is set to be published in international interdisciplinary journal ‘Children and society’s special issue in October this year.

Dr Damanjit Sandhu, Associate Professor

As found in interviews conducted with boys and girls of the 15-17 age group, the colossal digital-literacy gap between parent and the child, and parental ineptness to monitor the digital usage of children have exacerbated the growing children’s uncertainties about the future. We found that non-productive online teaching, inability to pay attention to online class and maintain study routines have also impacted the students much.

In their research carried out in Patiala and outside through focus group discussions and interviews, the professors found out that the Covid-19 pandemic has exaggerated and complicated the pre-existing issues within each section of society.

“The school closure during the lockdown and shift to online teaching has posed serious challenges to a child’s well-being,” they said.

Associate professor Dr Damanjit Sandhu said: “As found in the interviews conducted with boys and girls of age group 15-17 years, the colossal digital-literacy gap between parent and the child, and parental ineptness to monitor the digital usage of children have exacerbated the growing children’s uncertainties about the future. We found that non-productive online teaching, inability to pay attention to online class and maintain study routines have also impacted the students much.”

She said there was a growing fear among children of not being able to perform well and crack competitive examinations for admissions to elite colleges.

The research highlights the negative effects of overuse of technology on students’ physical health.

“Students often feel unable to discuss their stressors openly with their parents but discussions at a young growing age are very important. We also witnessed young children’s excessive social media usage and involvement in risky online behaviour and game addiction. This has resulted in significant effects on children’s growth,” she said.