Thursday, February 27, 2014

Beware examinees by Dr. Debarati Halder

Come the exam time, the children become more concerned about their studies... really? I have a different opinion this time. in one of my mid -seminar chats with the participants I got an opportunity to hear the experiences of  Latika Saran, Ex Director general of Police, Tamil Nadu. She told me about incidences of disturbing fellow classmates through the social media profiles by young teenagers. Her observation said, this is a new trend picked up by students to distract the fellow classmates just before the examination starts. I completely agree with her observation especially when I myself got to see several of such cases. Many schools including sophisticated elite schools now have included direct teaching methods through internet. Science, social science, maths and even linguistic subjects are also made easy through several educational software. Gone are those days when children had to be taken to  field trips  to make them understand just a fragment of a portion of an entire science syllabus. Now field trips are additional ways to make a child understand the whole problem. Computer and internet are working as extremely beneficial windows letting the students  visualise and realise everything . Students are encouraged to have their own emails and social media profiles to get connected to famous scientists, explorers, mathematicians etc through their own web pages or social media pages. This is extremely useful since these children are born in the internet era and they must learn to use the internet for good since early adolescent period. Home computers and internets may give wonderful opportunities to learn new things, solve problems together with the family. I have personally experienced this when my daughter wanted to know the meaning of a particular Hindi word; the whole family sat with her and learnt not only one word ( the meaning), but various ways to use the word constructively. But this is not ‘all is good’ scenario.
        Young girls often become completely shocked to see their “fake avatars”(I have explained the meaning of FakeAvatars in the context of online harassment in my article ; the shock turns into nervous breakdown when they come to know that these were created by none other than their classmates to distract them from their studies. Parents often tell me that their children are increasingly becoming adamant to open new Facebook profile or get connected to their friends through Twitter or Google Plus particularly when they get study leave before the exams. Some students prefer to share class-photographs with their friends through emails/chats after they are reportedly ‘begged’ by their friends repeatedly. Further, I have also come across cases where students get into online bullying during their study leaves. Some students told me that to come out of boredom during study leaves they take to internet games and they did come across several games which were ‘adult types’ and they did not tell their parents about it. However, the appreciable part is, they immediately restricted themselves from further going deeper into those games as they said ‘we are aware of the dangers of these’. But not everyone is smart like these kids. There are children who had severe fights with their parents on the issue of using the internet ‘all by themselves’ without any parental guidance during holidays sending the parents to panic camps ; the real world parent vs child arguments  did take off several days of the peaceful home atmosphere which hampered exam preparations for the child.
Ever thought why such incidences increase especially during study holidays? Mrs. Saran’s observation stands true with the testimony of a few parents who agreed that some children intentionally call up others to be online to distract them from their studies. How many of you readers remember the scene in 3 Idiots when “Chatur” circulates racy magazines to other hostel-mates during their exams to distract them? This silly prank-trend has an upliftment through Information/digital technology way. Apart from this, I must also say about one more incidence where medical students were caught red-handed with blue chips in the examination hall some years back and it was found that there was a big racket alluring the students to buy it; the intentional was not to empower the younger generation by availing them latest technology, but to sell answers to the right questions.
So students and parents, be aware of such trends. Internet is a way of learning now. But do not use it to destroy the positive powers.
Wish you all best of luck for your exams.
Please Note: Do not violate copyright of this blog. If you would like to use informations provided in this blog for your own assignment/writeup/project/blog/article, please cite it as “Halder D. (2014), “Beware examinees
”, 27th February,2014, published in

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