“During the initial days of our virtual classes, we faced various challenges including students’ unruly behaviour. The complications of migrating to the online mode, the network and connectivity issue were escalated with the tricks played by the students,” says Chhaya Bhargava, director, Laksh Academy, Bangalore.
Initially, when the teachers were not so tech-savvy, the students used several methods to disrupt the classroom decorum. “Many students would disappear or mute teachers. One of our students also logged in with a fake name of Osama bin Laden. I could not figure out the trick at the beginning and was helped by my son,” she says.
Bhargave further says that the mode of the learning is now picking up as teachers have now understood the technique to tackle these students.
Akanksha Pandey, consultant, Psychology, Fortis Hospital, Bangalore has also come across various complaints from teachers about the inappropriate behaviour by the students and the parents.
“We have been conducting webinars with various schools to engage with teachers. Many teachers had complained about students logging in with fake names, muting the teacher in between the class and asking silly questions. While this behaviour makes it difficult to manage the class, the problem is further escalated by parents’ intervention,” she says
Pandey says that the parents barge into the students’ privacy during the class, discuss the household chores in loud voice, and keep on peeping into the laptop. All these activities disturb the order of the class.
“Parents also judge teachers, keep on correcting them in group chats and point out to their mistakes in front of the students. All this creates enormous pressure on the teachers and demotivate them. More responsibility lies with the parents. They cannot judge the teachers in front of the children. This leaves a bad impression about teachers in front of the students,” she says.
Citing measures to correct such behaviour, she adds, “Collective efforts of the parents and school authorities are required for the smooth functioning of the online class. Parents need to have a good connect with the teachers. They are expected to inculcate good behaviour in their children. School authorities should also ensure that such kind of cyberbullying does not take place.”
Ashlesha Chitnavis, vice principal, Billabong High School, Mumbai says their school had adopted measures even before starting the online classes. The students were taught the code of conduct to be followed while attending these classes.
“We held open discussion with the students and taught them the values, morals and the conduct that should be followed during such online classes. We also run two parallel bodies Respecting Individuals (RI) and Centre for wellbeing for our students. These two bodies have engaged students across grade and sections to ensure that they do not get into bullying and other improper activities,” she says.