Former Principal, Institute of Advanced Study in Education, Thrissur, Kerala, India.
During the Corona virus pandemic compelled online pedagogy, children were compelled to sit in front of the computer for hours, often alone, cut off from friends and denied the opportunity to play outside their houses. The recently introduced midterm public examination for standard X led to a spurt of tests to help students prepare. Analysis of two case studies and data collected by the investigator from teachers and parents regarding online pedagogy and the effect on children when compared with opinions of Neuroscientists on brain development, gave a grim picture. The excessive demand on students, sans play and socialization in fact, led to a rise in mental health related issues. The findings from the inquiry underscores the need to re-think compelled online pedagogy which borders on child abuse. It is hoped that the findings of the study would prompt educators and curriculum developers to refine online pedagogic practices.
child abuse, examinations, mental issues, neuroscience, online pedagogy
(1).As per the OECD Policy Response: In OECD countries Digital tools were perceived as providing recreational activities besides psychological and social support from outside. They were also facilitating social interactions among children which in turn contributes to their digital savviness. However, it also cautioned. that an increase in digitalization can magnify risks such as cyber-bullying and sexual exploitation when the use of internet is unsupervised.
(2).The special CBSE Board exam scheme introduced included a First term exam in Nov-Dec and second term exam in March-April. The first term would involve MCQ type including case-based MCQs and MCQs on assertion-reasoning type which will cover 50 per cent of the entire syllabus. (Reported in Business Standard)
(3).It was reported that CBSE consulted stakeholders such as the government, teachers, parents, and students before announcing the new policy for the board examinations. It also kept in mind the pandemic situation and the lack of offline teaching for students. Joseph Emmanuel, Director (Academic) of CBSE said that “the board has also considered the concerns regarding the different availability of electronic gadgets, connectivity and effectiveness of online teaching and other socio-economic issues, especially with respect to students from economically weaker sections and those residing in far-flung areas of the country.”(India Today)
(4).Reports have highlighted gross undermining of mental health and violations of individual civil liberties and fundamental rights such as mobility rights, access to accurate information, access to proper protection for health workers, right to education, and discrimination against marginalized populations. (Office of HCHR)
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To cite this article
Chandrasekharan Praveen. (2021). Is Covid-19 compelled Online Pedagogy, veiled child abuse?-An inquiry. John Foundation Journal of EduSpark, 3(3), 18-28.