Online classes a tool for harassing teachers in UP

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BY AMITA VERMA
Lucknow, Sep 3 (IANS)
From eating ‘parathas’ to brushing their teeth to winking at teachers and even flashing suggestive photographs, students are doing it all.
Online classes in schools in Uttar Pradesh are now becoming a source of embarrassment and harassment for teachers.
Two days ago, a teacher realised that majority of the students in her online class were giggling uncontrollably.
The teachers zeroed in and found that one of the boys was sitting wearing a vest and brushing his teeth.
She forced the student to log out of the class.
Last week, a girl was eating ‘parathas’ and her mother was yelling in the background to finish her breakfast. Just then, her aunt walked into the frame and hugs and kisses were exchanged between the two while the class was on.
“A large number of students attend online classes in inappropriate dresses. In senior classes, boys are known to make obscene gestures to the teachers and then conveniently log out,” said a teacher in Prayagraj.
Another teacher from Varanasi admitted that most of the students do not wear uniforms in online classes.
“They treat online classes like a picnic-some can be seen sipping cold drinks, other are munching on sandwiches while some continue to use their mobile phones. There is no way in which we can discipline them for this new medium of education,” said Shaswati Banerjee, a teacher in a private school.
She further said, “I actually dread that one day we will return to normal classes. I will not know how to deal with those who have made obscene gestures – some have even shown porn material to teachers-during online classes.”
She said that in cases where parents were informed about their child’s conduct, they argued that the child was ‘distressed’ in the shutdown period and was behaving a ‘bit abnormally’.
In Baghpat, policemen are now probing a case of indiscipline by two students and their subsequent thrashing by a woman school teacher. A video of the teacher beating the two students with a cane in a private school has been shared widely on social media platforms. The students had allegedly sent her ‘vulgar’ messages.
“Your brother passed out from this school. And he often asks me how the school is running and how the students are now. Shall I tell him that his younger brother is sending me abusive messages?” the teacher is heard asking the boy.
A teacher from Kanpur said that girls were not far behind when it came to misbehaving in online classes.
“There is this girl in class 10 who appears on the screen wearing revealing clothes and in full make-up. I called up her mother who, interestingly, defended her daughter saying that she was ‘learning the art of make-up’ just before the online class began,” the teacher said.
Talking to IANS, at least two principals of private schools admitted that students should be made aware of the fact that online classes are as good as regular classes, except for the physical distance.
“We cannot record all online classes and parents will also have to educate their children about decorum and dignity of online education. In fact, we are planning to continue with online classes for some subjects even after schools reopen. This is being planned in order to inculcate the manners for the medium,” said one of the principals.

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