A recent case of cyber bullying prank against a teacher named Mohiuddin got viral when a student of Milestone College, Dhaka started abusing him online.
Aarushi Relan 15 August, 2020 10:28 pm IST: ONLINE CLASSES & CYBER-BULLYING
During these adverse conditions, teachers are leaving no tables unturned to impart education to students. This pandemic has forced the shift of classroom teaching to online learning to avoid social distancing. Moreover, this online teaching process has left teachers overworked and also less tech-savvy teachers are trying to learn the use of technology.
The teachers are repeatedly harassed, abused, sent obscene messages and posts and complained about several ‘mischievous elements’ misusing the online medium to appear cool among their peers. Moreover, according to the recent reports by Times of India, hackers are reportedly targeting the e-learning classes by posting obscene content while underage children are attending classes.
However, this online platform has made it easier for students to manipulate teachers, abuse them, insult and defame the professionals, who otherwise deserve respect for the hard work they are putting in.
As said by Mr. Anil Agarwal, chairperson of State’s Unaided Private School Association, there has been no formal complaint by the teachers, but there are ‘multiple sources’ suggesting otherwise. He further stated, “Students are using language, expression and gestures which must not be used against any human being, let alone a teacher. These teachers are mentally disturbed and female teachers are more conscious regarding the kind of clothes they wear. However, no formal complaint has been made by the teachers yet.”
The low and irregular attendance, lack of attention by students, lack of experience with technology especially with older teachers and poor internet connectivity has made online teaching a harder process and activity for various teachers. Schools are promising the parents that they shall provide quality education even amidst lockdown which is a burden unfairly borne by the teachers.
On April 27, 2020, the Uttar Pradesh Government has prohibited all the schools from hiking the fees of students. However, this has adversely affected the salaries of teachers as schools cannot pay them without parents not paying the academic fee. A teacher in Lucknow said that, “We all are under pressure to portray and give our best. We are neither getting paid nor are equipped enough to do the same”.
Several such cases are emerging in Mumbai, Maharashtra where a class 10 student logged in Class 9 online class abused the teacher, commented wrongly on her dress style and posted obscene content during the commencement of the class. In another such scenario, an unidentified person hacked an e-class and shared obscene messages online due to which the school eventually stopped the online class for a few days. Moreover, with schools adopting the method of e-learning, a large number of students are spending time on the internet which has increased the access to technology making it more prone to cyber-bullying and online predators.
Nabamallika Bhagabati, a music teacher in a Delhi’s private school said that, “Students create fake Zoom IDs, unidentifiable names and openly troll teachers. Some switch off the camera and openly use abusive language. Worst is recording us without our permission and making memes on us.”Further she added that, “There is no way to find out who the student is, so the only option we have is to ignore all the bullying and concentrate on teaching the students actually interested.”
Privacy and propriety-related issues also are a major concern among the tutors as some parents ‘peep-in’ while teachers educate. Tripti Guha said that, “I face a lot of issues in situation where parents record the lecture and later call me questioning my method of teaching. It makes the situations very awkward when the teacher is being watched by the whole family.”
A recent case of cyber-bullying prank pulled against a teacher named Mohiuddin got viral when a student of Milestone College, Dhaka started abusing him online. The teacher could not understand how to react and shouted in anger. A 55-year old Mohiuddin started shedding tears in embarrassment of being humiliated in front of students.
Moreover, the government school teachers have been finding it quite difficult to reach the economically weaker sections of the society who have less access to technology. The method of teaching applied for such students is quite different as they don’t have 24-hour access to electronic gadgets. Teachers make calls to the student’s parents everyday to ensure worksheets and assignmentsare submitted to teachers via WhatsApp. They are trying to suppress each hurdle and ignore the rowdy behavior shown by students. Following-up can be a very challenging part for teachers especially with students who do not have smartphones. The Government too pressurizes these teachers to get the work out of students
Other concerns with online teaching apart from bullying is ‘children who sleep off during the class and argumentative parents’. Adding to this point a teacher from Nagpur said that, “I have been facing such instances where students fall asleep during a class turning their camera and audio off. Whereas, we assume that the student is attending the class as the status shows online, but in reality, the student has gone off to sleep”.
With the alarmingly spread rate of Covid-19, there has been no decision by the schools to be reopened in the near future, even when other nations are making their students go to school and take necessary precautions. To avoid physical contact of students and maintain social distancing, online classes have emerged as a rescue for continuing the education among schools, colleges, coaching centers and academic institutions. This method has its drawbacks and challenges attached to it, but there is no better mode right now which can replace the online mode of teaching.
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