Socio-economic, technological development essential for children

New Delhi, Mar 7 (FN Bureau) In order to prepare our children for the future, it is important for parents and teachers alike to focus on children’s socio-emotional competencies along with higher cognitive and technological skills, Director at Ahlcon Groups of Schools Dr Ashok Pandey said.

“Earlier, the pace of nature of working used to transform in a decade or so but these days the change is more rapid. The nature of work now changes every three of five years. So, in order to prepare our children for a future, that would be volatile and fluid merely scoring good marks will not be sufficient. Therefore, children need to be brought up and conditioned in a way to be socio-economically, cognitively and digitally advanced. A report by McKinsey and Company has also suggested that in coming years the jobs would actually look for the above-mentioned skills instead of just higher grades,” said the chairperson for the Council of Global Citizenship Education (GCED) Dr Pandey during a session on Vitasta Publishing’s book titled — ‘Parents Beware of the Digital Demon’. Written by the former head of the Department of Clinical Psychology at NIMHANS with 40 years of experience in child psychology- Malvika Kapoor, the book attempts to flag the dangers and provide suggestions on how to combat digital dependence.

Responding to a question on whether technology is a devil or demi-god for children, Mr Pandey, who has been serving in the education sector for the past three decades said, “The beauty of science and technology is that it opens the door to heaven. It is also the same key that can open up hell as well now that key doesn’t hold any value in itself and in the end, everything comes down to its user i e the human being. This is why we are emphasising what kind of human beings are we producing and think of the ways the same key can be used as an enabler or protector and an instrument of transforming the world as a good place instead of creating a hell.”

According to a survey conducted by OLX India in June 2020, the screen time for children in the age group 5-15 years had shot up 100 per cent since the first lockdown was announced in March. A study by the Indian Academy of Paediatrics said that more than 75 per cent of the parents reported higher levels of stress in the family due to remote learning and children often complained of irritability, stress, disturbed sleep and anxiety regarding school work. If we can repurpose technology then we will tame it for the benefit of all, especially youth and if we don’t then we will end up being a slave to it, he added.