Schools

#RightToLearn: Parents Rally Online, Request To Lift The Ban On Online Education

Lavanya Bahuguna
#RightToLearn: Parents Rally Online, Request To Lift The Ban On Online Education

This Sunday is going to be a revolutionary one. On 21 June 2020, teachers, ed-researchers and parents of three Indian states - Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Madhya Pradesh – are coming together online to speak for their wards’ education that’s getting affected during the pandemic. Using the hashtag #RightToLearn, this Twitter Storm will happen between 2 to 5 pm.

The silent protest will see them raise their voices against the ban that their respective governments have put on online schooling for pre-primary and primary classes.

Talking about the Early Childhood sector, the educators are worried that a school break this long might impact their young students psychologically. However, considering everyone’s safety and following the social distancing norms, a majority of them feel that instead of a complete ban, online classes must already begin so the kids can stay in touch with their teachers and fellow classmates.

During a discussion held by ScooNews in a parents’ group, an upset guardian enquired, “Because of a Blanket Ban on virtual learning and the on-going school closure, our kids haven’t been very socially active and that’s hampering their cognitive learning in many ways. The loss of this academic year is another concern that’s bothering us. I want to question the government - why can’t it come up with a more distinguished guideline that also speaks from our perspective?”

According to a majority of parents, the govt. has created an unnecessary hype around the usage of technology when it comes to toddlers and young kids as its user. While the entire world has moved to virtual classrooms and distance learning, they feel the deciding parties are still stuck to the orthodox way of learning. “Teaching of any sort, whether online or offline and irrespective of the age of the learner, always equips children for the future. Similarly, the interaction between a teacher and his/her student will only add to their advancement, no matter if it happens one to one or via a computer screen,” added another parent, who’s also a primary school teacher.

Many parents around the country already browsed through various learning websites and apps to indulge their kids into productive learning at home during the lockdown. Also, with laptops, smartphones and tablets already being used around the children on a daily basis, these parents feel that fully banning online learning simply by assuming that the screen time is hazardous to kids was an impractical verdict overall. 

In Karnataka, the ban extends from pre-primary all the way up till grade 5. In Maharashtra, the ban extends from pre-primary and grade 3. The Madhya Pradesh government has banned online schools until grade 5.

Parent groups like Universe of Moms (UNIMO), Indore Mothers (INMO), and First Moms Club are a part of the online rally.

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced schools around the globe to come up with solutions overnight in order to keep their classrooms running uninterrupted. Considering things won’t be back to normal anytime soon, taking the help of technology looks like a rather smart move. Moreover, now that the parents are concerned about sending their children to school until the vaccines are available or better social distancing solutions are exercised in the buildings, we feel that sticking to such majors is wise so the children don’t stop learning and connecting with their teachers and fellow classmates.

Do you also think that instead of a complete ban on online education, the government can suggest applying a cap on the screen time? In this way, at least, parents and teachers can make sure the time spent online by their wards is academically-focused and not a ‘bad’ screen time where the latter could be playing online games and watching videos that are age-inappropriate.

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