SLCP Cautions Against Excessive Online Learning for Children
By Dilanthi Jayamanne
Despite the necessity of following online learning due to the COVID-19 situation in the country, parents should ensure that their children do not overdo it, and thereby face longterm mental, physical problems, Secretary of the Sri Lanka College of Paediatricians (SLCP) Dr. Channa de Silva warned. As it is children who are burdened with staring at either a computer, phone or television screens for long hours following classes being conducted by their school teachers.
Addressing the media at the Health Promotion Bureau (HPB), Dr. De Silva said Wednesday (23) that therefore parents were tasked with ensuring that their children were not over burdened with classes conducted by their tuition teachers as well.
Instead they should choose the subjects that their children faced difficulties and encouraged them to follow only those in order to avoid long hours of screen time. Avoiding burdening the child with extra classes for all subjects, he said. Also with their knowledge regarding technology children could deviate from online learning and go astray. they should also be monitored at all times by an elder.
He urged parents to use their time at home with the present travel restrictions and the restrictions on the number of persons being required to report to duty to ensure that their children were not restricted only to continuously follow online classes. The moment they complete their classes make sure that their attention is drawn towards other activities such as reading, music, drawing physical activities etc. so that they do not face any long-term issues even after the country sees an end to COVID-19, Dr. De Silva said.
Fielding questions regarding the reopening of schools to overcome the long hours of on line classes which have overwhelmed the country’s student population, the Secretary of the SLCP, said that they were working closely with the Ministry of Education to formulate a method through which schools could be reopened gradually after the pandemic situation had blown away.
“However we have to first make sure that class teachers too were administered the COVID-19 jab.” Dr. De Silva observed however, that from the children who had contacted the COVID-19 during the first wave, 55% had not shown any symptoms or complications. But there were no research papers with regard to how the Sri Lankan children fared during the second and third waves as yet, he said.
Chief Incumbent of Bodhirajarama Temple, Maradana, Ven. Waskaduwe Nandarathana Thera urged the public to refrain from creating a ‘Poson cluster’ as well by engaging in activities that would pave the way for further spread of the virus. As it is there is a fish market cluster, Minuwangoda apparel industry cluster and even a post New Year COVID cluster.
He urged the public to shelve all thoughts of visiting Anuradhapura or Mihintale and engage in their religious devotions at home. “Also please refrain from inviting neighbours to observe religious activities at your own home because that too is a gathering which needs to be avoided,” the Thera advised.