“Life cannot be lived online” – Nadeepa Ranasinghe | Sunday Observer

“Life cannot be lived online” – Nadeepa Ranasinghe

24 January, 2021

Education is a prominent factor that drives people. No matter what sort of a crisis clamps down on society, people strive to fan the flames that arise from the crisis impacting education. Covid-19 has struck all types of formal education in the global context confining and shrinking the typical classrooms to mere video lessons mostly via the Zoom app. As the health issues exacerbate, the time students are obliged to spend in front of laptops and phone screens has doubled. From the accounts of the students, the circumstances with which they have to cope is basically dependant on their age. Even if hours and hours of online work is alright for the students who are above 12 or 13 years of age , we have to be mindful that it is not the same with students who are under 12.

Currently, as the conditions are getting tight and tense, society shows an inclination to promote and cultivate online education as the best possible safety mechanism for education during Covid-19. The Youth Observer spoke to Nadeepa Ranasinghe, Attorney-at-law, Personal Development Trainer and Motivational Speaker to provide insights into the psychological context that we are losing focus on.

Proper life

Nadeepa Ranasinghe

Nadeepa emphasised the fact that, before we think or worry about whether our child is going to be on track on his/her educational level or is he/she going to lose touch with his/her studies, we should first want our child to have a proper life.

“Our subconscious minds keep developing till we are seven. This phase of a child’s life decides what sort of an experience he/she is going to have during the rest of his/her life “added Nadeepa. She also stressed that we, adults should be sensible enough to reduce the ‘screen time’ of a child to a maximum of an hour. Forcing or pressurising children under 12 to focus on their online lessons for two or three hours, would be like waving a red flag about their overall mental health, performance, daily interactions and innate potential.

“The less your child follows the crowd and the trends that have already been set, the more the tendency for him/her to grow up to be an exclusive human being. Geniuses like Thomas Alva Edison and Albert Einstein didn’t even complete schooling. But where did they end up? What is happening in our society is that our subconscious minds are not being fed with ‘raw data’ but with all-set data and material. So, they don’t go through the creative process which includes much self-learning that cannot be taught within formal classrooms. This only moulds the child to be robotic and psychopathic”.

Child’s right

Speaking of her own five-year-old child, she mentioned that she doesn’t want to violate her child’s right to enjoy freedom and happiness, therefore, she doesn’t encourage her to take part in online lessons always , but once a month.

“The competition is among the mothers, not the children. Mothers fear breaches in their children’s education so they squeeze them to study. No one is aware of the amount each child is capable of putting up with. Eventually, their education drags them to the point where they lose their minds within their developing stage”.

Suggesting possible and practical solutions to this aggravating issue, Nadeepa mentioned that by now, both parents and teachers have become helpless caught in this system of education. Other than doing their job, the teachers are not in a position to make alterations in the system whereas the parents still carry the right and the license to be accountable and at the same time to have control over how their children should be taught. If parents can home-school their child instead of just pushing him/her to be in an online class, that is what this society is in desperate need of right now, for the sake of its own children.

Sole armour

According to Nadeepa, what is vital during a time like this is, fortifying the immune system of the child as that is the sole armour a child can wear during a health crisis.

“Mind plays an indispensable role in balancing the immunity level. When the child gets stressed, the immunity hormone increases and impacts on the entire immunity system. Who knows what is yet to come? If another virus hits us, what would be more important, the life of our children or their education?’. She brought out the fact that during this phase of life, a child enhances and enriches his/her individualism based on the activities he/she does and not by spending time with electronic devices.

Nadeepa also brought out some effective and practical suggestions, which , if implemented, have the potential to make this tight phase the children are struggling with, a fruitful time for them.

Simple meditation practices that suit children, having a pet at home, letting them interact with the nature and the environment (such as letting them plant a tree and play with clay, mud and sand) and above all, conversing with the child and strengthening the bond between the child and parents while striving to enrich the personality of the child with love, acceptance, patience, caring and respect would be the best way to upgrade your child.

“The child absorbs a lot of informal things through the conversations he/she is having with his/her parents and other family members.

“They have piles of other important things to learn apart from academic stuff such as, how to manage their chores without the assistance of parents, how to be frankly happy at another’s victory and how to not feel guilty about his/her own self. Our children should have creative brains that can figure out the reality, everything goes in vain with a robotic mind” added Nadeepa.