While the 2021/2022 academic session has already started in Nepal, a protracted health crisis induced by the coronavirus is likely to force schools to continue their academic activities via virtual means, including video conferencing tools such as Zoom, Google Meet and MS Teams among others for uncertain weather. Despite the huge benefits of virtual platforms when it comes to redoubling learning opportunities through subsequent innovations, disruptive student behaviors have also added another layer of complexity to school discipline amid the pandemic. This requires urgent interventions from all stakeholders including educators, behavior experts, teachers and parents in education systems to identify effective approaches to rid the educational atmosphere of these disruptive behaviors in a stronger way. and maintain healthy educational practices.
Even before the pandemic, it was reportedly said that dealing with criminal behavior by students in classrooms was one of the daunting tasks for teachers. In addition, the indiscipline among the students and the subsequent imposition of corporal punishment about them has long been a topical issue in the Nepalese education system. Even if bad student behavior While online learning amid the Covid-19 pandemic appears to have put educators under additional pressure, it still needs to receive more attention in Nepal.
However, significant media coverage in the international context has placed more emphasis on modification of school discipline in the aftermath of the pandemic, when the criminal behavior of students has become quite confusing for educators. It is claimed that such difficult behaviors exhibited by students may include annoying noises, aggression, playing obscene music and videos in the background, lack of communication when needed, and slack in the internet. associated with false identities, use of inappropriate profile pictures, unwanted annotations on the split screen, verbal abuse or violence against teachers as good as pranks. In addition, there are growing concerns that strangers or hackers could easily sneak into virtual space and obstruct learning environments given the paucity of resilient cybersecurity and security mechanisms.
What happened to a series of virtual conferences at the national level last year in Nepal are enough to prove it. Therefore, these problems are not only peculiar to these conferences and other international contexts, but also other forms of difficult behavior must have plagued educational institutions, educators and teachers in Nepal while trying to ” administer distance education to schoolchildren during the Covid-19 ban measures. .
On the other hand, with the changing landscape of disciplinary issues as schools operate online, the ways in which disciplinary practices are applied should also require renewed attention. Unlike in-person classroom environments, where different forms of physical punishment were endemic in Nepal, educators and teachers can no longer physically practice punishment on students in virtual environments. This, however, does not mean that educators and students do not have confrontational issues either.
Obviously, when behavioral issues become difficult to manage, educators have little choice but to find solace in suspending difficult students from the learning environment because reports reveal. This means that we cannot deny the possibility for teachers to resort to various forms of punitive measures in virtual spaces in Nepal also to calm students.
It is no exaggeration that improper suspensions and other forms of disciplinary misconduct can go unnoticed. What we can generally understand is that the technological weapon normally useful for teachers to maintain virtual discipline is “Mute all”. We often hear that if things get more difficult for teachers, they simply kick disruptive students out of virtual learning environments, lock the meeting, and turn off any available restore, chat, video sharing, and annotation options. in distance learning apps to muzzle the chaos. in classrooms. Since maintaining discipline online doesn’t seem as easy as it sounds, school administrators and teachers might argue that they can still benefit from enforcing exclusionary and coercive netiquette rather than to let the situation lead to a possible suspension of classes.
But if it was just about keeping students silent on e-learning platforms, then everything would be fine. However, we cannot deny distance education is more than keeping students silent, making them passive consumers and above all criminalize their behavior. When viewed from the perspective of children’s rights and the psychosocial perspective of learners, such abusive practices can seriously hamper the well-being of children in the long run.
Therefore, new measures are not only necessary but urgent.
Urgency of a resolution
As might be expected, learning environments with inappropriate behaviors provide less time for academic engagement, and learners in these disruptive classes normally tend to have lower academic performance. What is even more distressing is that teachers often have little opportunity to adapt instructions to needy students in classrooms, as they are forced to spend a lot of time in class in order to to control difficult behaviors. Additionally, studies have shown that poor learner behavior and the resulting exclusionary disciplinary faults not only lead to a less positive teacher-student relationship, but also impact teachers’ enthusiasm for their careers with less professional well-being .
Everyone should understand that academic quality and student achievement largely depends on the psychological needs of the learners, optimal participation, active engagement, healthy interaction, collaborative activities on ongoing tasks. classroom as well as honest communication with instructors regarding learning and work progress. It can be quite difficult for teachers to carry out their classroom activities while carrying out their other responsibilities if students do not support them, exhibit disrespectful behaviors, and lack positive attitudes and digital literacy in the spaces. virtual learning. In other words, unless students are motivated, self-organized, self-determined, and have a functional digital culture to cooperate with their peers and instructors, it is almost impossible to create an effective learning environment.
Given the uncertainty about returning to normalcy, teachers desperately need the adequate support they can get from all the stakeholders that are part of the education system – academics, trainers, advisers, management bodies. school or parents – to instill discipline and a positive attitude in students. Moreover, if we fail to take a more useful and sustainable approach to deal with difficult and disengaged students, we will probably never effectively correct difficult behaviors in students, who are struggling to deal psychologically with new learning situations in the midst of the pandemic.
It is also imperative to link learning spaces with quality research that can offer practical remedies to create calmer and more supportive learning environments where teachers and students can engage both academically and socially. emotionally with dignity, security and productivity.