Parents of DPS students complaint of long screen hours during online classes

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An association of parents of students of Srinagar’s Delhi Public School (DPS) complained on Tuesday about the “burdensome” class schedule of their wards and said their children were spending several hours of screen time to attend online classes.

Parents stated their worries in a Facebook post on the association’s page. The association said that the administrations of the DPS Srinagar should reconsider it’s timing schedule of online classes. “DPS Srinagar should consider revising its class timetable because the current class schedule is burdensome for kids,” the post read.

Schools in Kashmir have remained shut for the last three years — first in 2019 due to lockdown prompted by the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s limited autonomy and then in 2020 and this year due to the pandemic — during which classes have been shifted to online mode

The association suggested that the schools in Kashmir should adjust their timetable according to the guidelines of the World Health Organisation (WHO) for recommended screen time for children of different age groups.

As per the WHO guidelines, screen time is not recommended for infants who are less than one year of age.

“No screen time for a 1-year-old. No more than an hour for 2-year-olds, with less time preferred. No more than one hour for 3 to 4 years old,” read the guidelines.

The parents association said that currently, the students of the Primary section in DPS Srinagar “spend on average 4-5 hours per day on screen”.

“They attend 8 classes per day, with each class running for around 30 mins.
8 classes × 30 min = 4+ hours,” they said in a post. They mentioned that the classes start at 8 am and finish around 1 pm.

The association said that staring at screens too long stresses the eyes of kids and affects their health.

As per the suggestion of American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, for children in the age group of two to five years, non-educational screen time should be limited to about one hour per weekday and three hours on the weekend days.

“For ages 6 and older, encourage healthy habits and limit activities that include screens. Turn off all screens during family meals and outings,” reads the study.

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