Here’s how online courses impact children’s mental health

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Online education has replaced physical classes as schools have been using digital platforms since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic early last year. Although students regularly take online courses, this is not enough for their learning. Online classes also have a negative impact on children’s minds and bodies. What children used to learn in school, in the company of teachers and friends, are not able to learn through online lessons.

According to Dr Komal Manshani, senior child psychologist at Max Super Specialty Hospital in Delhi, online courses have both advantages and disadvantages.

“At least in the midst of the pandemic, online courses have given students the opportunity to study according to their speed and in their own space,” Dr Manshani said in an exclusive interview with News 18.

However, online courses are not enough for educating children because they do not address the social aspect of academics. Dr Manshani said: “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 school. At school, children learn to interact with their peers as well as to interact with teachers. The school teaches children how to live, how to speak, how to behave, etc. How should we cooperate with each other, how should we help each other, etc. are taught in school. Online courses cannot provide these aspects.

Highlighting the negative impact of online courses, Dr Manshani added that with the digital switch-over and online courses, children have the opportunity to learn about e-gadgets, but it also has an impact on their spirit. Children couldn’t handle the freedom of online classes well and they lack motivation and self-discipline, according to Dr Manshani.

Children also complain of problems such as back pain from long hours spent sitting in front of screens, which causes them not only physical pain but also mentally, observed Dr Manshani.

Schools are using online courses due to blockages caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Several states across the country have kept schools closed since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic early last year. Although a few states have started to reopen schools gradually, the threat of the Omicron variant has again forced states to shut down educational institutions.

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