Students have to be given access to gadgets but simultaneously have to be made aware of the pitfalls of their use. This was the topic of discussion at a session with primary school teachers held in the city last week.
There has to be moderation but not deprivation because the students have to be ready for the technological innovations, said a consultant psychologist addressing an audience of 80-odd teachers. The dependency on technology has gone up even more, especially during the pandemic when for two years children from pre-primary sections to college goers had to use the screen for their classes.
Consultant psychologist Anuttama Banerjee, while addressing teachers, told them that if a student was playing an online game, he or she could regulate the difficulty level but not their syllabi. If the students do not like something they can swipe the screen, but cannot shift their teacher in the classroom, she added.
She was speaking to them on Nurturing the mental health of students in a changing landscape, organized by Aper, Kolkata territory (Association for primary education & research) at Indus Valley World School on Thursday.
“Mobile addiction I do not think is about the mobile. In our times, parents use to think that cable connection and television would make our life miserable and we would fail.... Now it is something else. Every time there would be new innovations, science,” said Banerjee. “Taking away the phone would not work but they have to be taught to use it responsibly,” Banerjee told The Telegraph later.
Children could be taught self-disciplinary measures and they can have a task table, she said. “The child has to be made to understand that until they finish their tasks they cannot engage in something pleasurable,” said Banerjee.
The work on the part of teachers and parents should be not to make the children gadget-dependent, said Amita Prasad, director of Indus Valley World School and a committee member of Aper, Kolkata territory. “It would be immature to ask children not to use the mobile. But it is for adults to see that they do not become addicted to it,” said Prasad.
Even 10 months after schools resumed in-person classes teachers shared how children showed behavioural issues in classrooms. Some of the examples shared by teachers were those of violent or aggressive behaviour and also asking for a day off in a working week because of their inability to cope with a situation in school.