Most of the teaching staff are new to online classes and are not as tech-savvy as the students. This has not only led to trolling by students but also called for unwanted criticism by parents. Suganthi (55) is a teacher at a private State Board school in the city and has experience of teaching Class 10 students for more than 20 years. However, lately, a lot of students and their parents have trolled and bullied her for not being aware of the online attendance system or classes. “The classes were a nightmare for the first 15-20 days because students would not attend the classes. They would take screenshots and post in social media as memes. I would not realise it until my colleagues or my own children would see them and tell me. It is exhausting mentally and emotionally,” said Suganthi.
Teachers and professors also rue that the involvement of parents during the online classes is troublesome as it brings in all kinds of criticism and lack of control over students.
“The students turn off the camera or block us and don’t even attend the class. They send inappropriate emoticons in the group during the call,” said S Vaishali, a teacher at a private CBSE school in CIT Nagar. Vaishali added that schools would pressurise them to adopt new platforms for taking online classes but children would not co-operate with them. “The parents call us during odd hours and even accuse us of draining their child emotionally and affecting their health psychologically,” added Vaishali.
While social media platforms have all kinds of trolls on teachers, students give all kinds of excuses from power cuts to loss of network when it comes to evaluation. “We are not even aware if the students are attending the classes. We are undertaking special classes to ensure that their course is not affected. But we are not sure of how much they are benefitted,” said Siva Kumar, head of the Department of Visual Communication Department at Davinci College in the city.