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   Friday, February 22, 2019
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Parents fear social networking sites affecting academic grades


Increasing number of youngsters and school students are slowly getting addicted to social networking sites like facebook and their parents fear it is affecting their academic performance. Recently a research by YouGov revealed that around one-fourth of children aged six to eleven spend significant amount of their time on surfing internet and networking on websites like Facebook and Twitter. However, hardly one-tenth of these kids spend time on internet for help in home work and other useful purposes.

Majority of parents surveyed felt that if their kids were to be restricted in their usage of internet, they’d perform better academically. Continuous use of social networking sites and other non-educational sites is badly affecting the grades of students, feared nearly half of the parents surveyed.

Thirty-six percent parents of children aged six to ten said they were concerned about the web’s impact on academic performance. Among parents with children aged 12 to 17, 62% said they were worried.

Fears were raised even though most social networking sites have a “no minors” policy. Children aged 12 to 17 who use the internet every day for homework and social networking claimed they spend equal time on each – an hour or two a day. However, three-fourth parents surveyed said they should ¬put some restrictions on home PC usage by children.

In an earlier survey of 500 teachers, half said pupils’ fixation on social networking sites was affecting their capacity to focus in class.

The craze of social networking site is such that one in five school going kids has a Facebook account; even though rules say they must be 13. There have been reports that say almost half of British children aged 9 to 12 are using social networking sites, despite minimum age limit.

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Corruption Watch

The bad news is that corruption has not only sustained but has grown in size and stature in the country. With scams being a regular feature, seventy per cent respondents in a survey have rightfully opined that corruption has continued to increase in India. One in every two interviewed admit having paid a bribe for availing public services during last one year. Transparency International's latest survey reveals that the political parties top the chart for the most corrupt public institutions, followed by police force and legislatures. No wonder, India continues to make new records on the global corruption arena!

The shocking revelation is that the health and education sectors haven't remained untouched by this phenomenon. With 5th and 6th positions respectively for these sectors on the public perception chart on corruption, corruption has crept insidiously into these sectors of hope for the masses. With bureaucracy being fourth in the list of corrupt institutions in the country, corruption seems to have been non-formally institutionalized with little hope if public services would ever be effective in the country. With economic growth having literally institutionalized corruption, are we now expecting corrupt to be socially responsible - a different CSR.

Poor. Who?

Not giving 'aid' to India is one thing but calling it 'rich' is quite another. If one in three of the world's malnourished children live in India, what does average daily income of $3 indicate? It perhaps means that there is a relative decline in poverty - people are 'less poor' than what they used to be in the past. But having crossed the World Bank arbitrary threshold of $2 a day does not absolve the 'developed' countries of their obligation to part with 0.7 per cent of their Gross National Income in development aid. Should this three-decade old figure not be revised?  

An interesting debate in UK's House of Commons delved on future of development assistance by the British Government. While prioritizing limited resources has been a concern, there has been no denying the fact that development aid must be guided towards tangible gains over a short period of time to start with. There are difficult choices for elected governments to make - should they invest in long-term primary education or in short-term university scholarships? Which of these will bring gains and trigger long-term transformation in the society. As politicians continue to be divided on the matter, poverty persists!!   

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