Home Maharashtra & Goa Mumbai : Mumbai based NGO ‘Parisar Asha ‘ writes open letter to Government of Maharashtra Aarti Savur, CEO, Parisar Asha says before writing fate of “online teaching” look into various aspects of current situation

Mumbai : Mumbai based NGO ‘Parisar Asha ‘ writes open letter to Government of Maharashtra Aarti Savur, CEO, Parisar Asha says before writing fate of “online teaching” look into various aspects of current situation

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Mumbai : Mumbai based NGO ‘Parisar Asha ‘ writes open letter to Government of Maharashtra Aarti Savur, CEO, Parisar Asha says before writing fate of “online teaching” look into various aspects of current  situation

Dear Decision-makers

Before you write the fate of ‘online teaching ’ for preschoolers please look into the various aspects of today’s situation. Because of few schools who have abused children with too much of screen exposure that too in another state …please do not take away the opportunity from everyone of having meaningful interaction between teachers and young students.

School is not a place just to learn A, B, C, D… It’s a place to learn social interaction, collaboration, build emotional behaviour, learn to play , to develop physical skills , develop mental abilities and very important aspect is making friends for life. We should not forget that teachers play an important role in a child’s life . They are a child’s second mother.

We as an NGO have been working in the field of education for the past 38 years , Though we do not have our own schools, we have been supporting lower income group schools for providing quality education through our unique pedagogy of activity based experiential learning through environment.

We also run positive parenting and child helpline,a free service to resolve issues related to academics , behavioural and mental heath in children .We personally do not advocate online teaching and screen exposure among younger kids .However, in the current scenario there is another angle too. We have found in many cases schools are safer places for our children than their homes. Teachers are more closer than their mothers . There are a lot of cases being reported of child abuse at home, mental health issues in children and these cases have increase post lockdown.

Children love freedom but our unfortunate batch of 2020 is stuck in the four walls without any social interaction with their teachers and school friends.

During lockdown, I have personally witnessed lower income group parent meetings on online meeting platforms along with their school teachers . The joy and excitement on children’s faces after seeing their teachers and friends is priceless! Few children started crying after seeing their teacher in their mobile phones , saying, “teacher humako school aana hai.” Few children started showing their toys to their teachers . They were so happy to see their best friends online .

Please do not take away the happiness and joy from these little ones. Let the technology work towards creating bonds with each other overcoming restrictions of social distancing. And ofcourse we all have to make sure that it will not get misused by putting more academic pressure on these little ones. Today parents are clueless on how to engage children meaningfully at home. Children are anyways overexposed to screen watching cartoons, playing mobile games then having constructive interaction with parents. Online teaching can provide opportunities to child in meaningful engagement.

Clearcut guidelines needs to be set on the usage of screen time for preschoolers . Classes should not be held not more than hour in 2/3 days a week . But let some interaction happen between teachers and students . They can just sing some songs together , dance together, talk together, laugh together. The rest of the work can be done through pre-recorded sessions .

Let’s not forget … every child has a right to right education !

Aarati Savur
CEO
Parisar Asha

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