Goa Information Technology Minister Rohan Khaunte appealed to parents to stop treating smartphone as rewards for children and let them know that it was just a gadget to tide over COVID-19 pandemic restrictions on regular schooling.
Talking to reporters on Friday, Khaunte said though parents were forced to accept the pandemic-induced dependency of children on mobile phones for educational purposes, every parent is now worried about the increasing amount of time children are spending on these devices.
“A recent survey by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights has revealed that mobile phone addiction is taking a serious toll on children. As physical classes have resumed in schools, it is high time parents and teachers wean children away from these devices to good old active schooling and physical and social activities,” he said.
Internet and mobile addiction are becoming silent killers of active physical and social activities and a normal social life amongst children, he said.
A healthy balance has to be struck between online and conventional learning to get the benefits of both, while ensuring healthy mental and emotional development of children, he said.
"We should stop treating smartphones as rewards for children. Let them know that it's just a gadget to tide over pandemic restrictions on regular schooling," the minister said.