- Online classes are negatively affecting children’s mental health in a variety of ways.
- Children are also experiencing major back pain and eyesight problems due to increase in screen time.
According to a recent 2021 study, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused major disruption in the educational sector and the new norm of online classes has taken a huge toll on children’s mental health. The lack of social interaction in online learning is leading to loneliness, anxiety, self-isolation, stress, and lack of motivation in children.
Senior child psychologist Dr. Komal Manshani said that the new norm of online classes has both its advantages and disadvantages. She explained that the online classes have provided the opportunity to the students to study and learn according to their speed and in their own space, as mentioned in NEWS18. “There are two important aspects of schooling— academic and social. Online learning seems to be limited to the academic aspect only, while the social aspect is taught in the school,” she added further.
Dr. Manshani mentioned that a child learns to communicate with their peers and teachers in a school. A school helps the children to learn how to live, talk, and behave with others. The children are taught how they should cooperate with each other and how they can help each other in different situations. According to her, online classes cannot provide these significant aspects of schooling.
Although children have become more familiar with the e-gadgets with the help of online classes, it is adversely affecting their psychological well-being as well. Not being able to handle the freedom provided in online education, children are now lacking motivation, self-discipline, and even interest in the study, Dr. Manshani stated later.
Along with a broad range of psychological issues, online classes are impacting even the physical health of children. Many children are now complaining of experiencing problems like back pain and poor eyesight due to sitting for a long period of time in front of screens.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak in India, almost every school has resorted to digital platforms to continue their classes. When some states had reopened their schools in a phased manner a few months back, the increased cases of the Omicron variant have again forced them to shut their organizations.
Experts of the American Psychological Association (APA) say that parents can help their children cope with the mental health effects of online classes by encouraging healthy habits, limiting their screen time except for education, and setting a positive environment at home.