‘Preschool students are missing interaction with their peers due to online classes,’ experts warn – The New Indian Express

ByMike V. Cooper

Feb 7, 2022

Express press service

CHENNAI: Even though physical lessons for pupils in grades 1 to 12 resumed on February 1, it is still unclear when it will start for preschoolers. Preschool students have been taking exclusively online lessons for the past two years.

Teachers and psychologists are concerned about the adverse effects of online lessons on children’s overall growth. Apart from learning loss, they also suffer from mental and physical health issues as their life revolves around the virtual world.

“The preschool period is very crucial because it is where the foundations of social-emotional learning are laid. Their interaction with peers helps in language stimulation and offline lessons promote brain stimulation. These advantages are lost online mode because the learning is more passive,” said Shailaja Venkat, headteacher of a kindergarten in Velachery.

Curiosity and active participation are often lacking in children during online lessons. “I have noticed that children have lost interest and parents have to push them to attend classes. This is not an encouraging trend as preschool classes should be focused on learning through activities fun, but not imposed on the students,” said S Padmini, a teacher.

Teachers and mental health experts believe that online classes do more harm than good to children. “Lack of interaction with peers and teachers might later manifest as difficulty in expressing themselves. Most working parents rely on electronic gadgets to engage children and this makes for a lethargic and boring generation,” said Lakshmi Vijayakumar, psychiatrist.

Children lose interest

Curiosity and active participation are often lacking in children during online lessons. Children have lost interest in online classes and parents need to push them to take classes. This is not an encouraging trend