Maximum screen time should be 3 hours per day for online classes: HRD Ministry

Lifestyle

HRD Ministry recommends no more than 3 hours of online classes per day for students

Maximum screen time should be 3 hours per day for online classes: HRD Ministry

While increasing screen time in children has always been a cause of concern, the pandemic has certainly added to the woes and multiplied the time kids spend in front of the screens. With schools and educational institutes being shut for an indefinite period of time, students and teachers are connecting via Zoom call sessions to complete their curriculum. The shift from regular classes to online classrooms has brought a host of challenges and a dramatic increase in screen time probably tops the list.

The guidelines issued by the government

To combat the same, the Union human resource department (HRD) ministry has suggested capping the duration of the online classes for students and also limiting the number of sessions. This may help in reducing the number of hours children often end up spending in front of their laptop and mobile devices. As the schools continue to stay shut for more than four months, these guidelines by the government may help in establishing the much-needed balance between offline and online hours for the students.

HRD Ministry guidelines to limit screen time for online classes

These guidelines by the Union human resource department (HRD) ministry are called ‘Pragyata’ and they recommend that students in class I to VIII should not have more than 2 online classes per day, each lasting around 30-45 minutes. While for classes IX to XII, the HRD ministry has recommended four online classes up to the duration of 45 minutes each, which roughly equates 3 hours of classes per day. The guidelines dictate that kids in pre-primary classes should not spend more than 30 minutes on their online classes.

While the guidelines are not binding, they have certainly come as a ray of hope for distraught parents, who have been at their wit’s end with the unprecedented increase in screen time of their kids and wary of the impact it may have on their eyesight and overall health. As the classes have moved online, common complaints among the kids include headaches and dry and irritated eyes.

The adversary also suggests the educational institutes to complete a proper survey of the availability of smartphone devices/gadgets and access to a stable internet connection for the students, before scheduling online classes.

The dreaded computer vision syndrome

For the unversed, when you end up staring into a screen for a longer duration of time, it can lead to computer vision syndrome. Also known as a digital eye strain, it results in headaches, dry eyes, blurred or double vision and even irritated eyes. It can also lead to neck strain and backaches, owing to the amount of time spent sitting on a chair the whole day.