Parents have been reminded to rethink about how they are allowing their children to use mobile phones, tablets or watch TV/Movies.
A strong emphasis on the use of these technology tools was echoed on Wednesday this week when thousands of pre-school students gathered at Saralana Park to celebrate the National Kindy Day.
‘Mo Krin Taem. Katem daon Skrin Taem’, or ‘More Green Time. Reduce Screen Time’, is the theme for this year’s Kindy Day which focused on educating the young early childhood learners to spend less time in front of screens and encouraging them to appreciate the green environment surrounding them.
“The Ministry of Education chose the theme not to discourage the use of technology in their early age, but to help us, as parents or caregivers to know how our children can benefit from the use of technology at the right times in the right places.
“Reducing screen time simply means we do not take advantage of these tools and use them as babysitters to our children,” Director of Education Services, Mr. Samuel Katipa said.
He added, “More Green time refers to our green environment.
“We should allow our children to spend more time outside and discover the environment.”
Director Samuel Katipa noted that technology can be the source of learning and entertainments for children and has benefits to it.
Some advantages include educational programmes on TV, or learn numbers, colors and letters of the alphabet from the smart phones.
But parents are encouraged not to allow their children to spend more screen time although these programmes are valuable.
There are also inappropriate contents on TV or movies so children are advised to be supervised when the screen is on.
Director Katipa reiterated that these technologies are not to be used as convenient babysitters.
“During meal times, make it a rule that no TV, smartphones or tablets are around.
“Children between the 1-5 years old should spend not more than an hour on screen. Six year old children and above should be allowed just two hours on screen time.
“There are health impacts on the children if these advices are ignored.”
The Education Services Director is urging parents to spend quality time with their children.
“Read a book together, do some exercises outside or play with them.”
Mr. Katipa agreed that although technology can provide very good opportunities, but there are also negative health impacts on the life of a child.
He warned parents to adhere to the instructions today before it is too late.