Parents have been taking down notes, giving instructions to their children or even prompting answers during an online class, forcing teachers to tell them to let the children be on their own.
Teachers said parents could provide technological support to the children, especially to those in junior classes, but over-enthusiasm during a class is affecting the teaching-learning process. Besides, multiple instructions to children - from the parents as well as teachers - can confuse the young ones.
“The child is unable to function independently and he or she becomes dependent on the father or the mother. In fact, sometimes the parents are so overbearing that the child ends up listening to them and the teacher is only a figure on the other side of the screen,” said Herbert George, the principal of MP Birla Foundation Higher Secondary School.
On some occasions, the child has to navigate between two sets of instructions, which George said could leave the little learner “flummoxed”.
At South City International School, parents have started taking down notes or telling the child to be fast because the teacher will move to the next topic.
At Newtown School, teachers have heard parents calling up their friends or relatives to brag about how well the child is attending online sessions or prompting answers to the little ones while a class is on.
“Parents should provide only technological support and not interfere in the academic content of what is being taught. If they start doing that and solve problems for their children, it will not be the right kind of teaching-learning,” said Suvina Shunglu, the principal of Sri Sri Academy.
In some institutions like South City and MP Birla, teachers are telling the parents to let the children be on their own. “We measure our words while we address the parents or we tell the children to focus on what the teacher is saying,” said Sejal Arora, the pre-primary head at South City.
At Newtown School, if teachers feel that parents are interfering in academic activities too much, a mail is sent to them. “We do not want to embarrass the child by addressing their parents in front of their friends, so teachers make a note and we send a mail to them,” said principal Satabdi Bhattacharjee.
Psychotherapist Farishta Dastur Mukerji said the baton of the classroom had shifted from the teacher to the parent.
“If there is over-monitoring or over-interference from the parent, the child’s confidence will take a hit in the long run. A huge part of the classroom is to build on their ability to speak up for themselves or socialisation skills, which can be compromised with over-monitoring,” said Mukerji.