MYSURU: The shift from classroom teaching to online learning amid the Covid-19 pandemic has become a nightmare for teachers, with many deciding to quit the profession permanently. Online bullying, lewd chats, harassment, and personal attacks on teachers by students – especially those pursuing PU and degree courses – have increased during online classes, pushing many teachers into depression.
Sharing their experiences with The New Indian Express, teachers in old-Mysuru region and Bengaluru complained that the shift from a physical classroom to an online one has led to a lack of discipline among students. “We, the female teachers, are more prone to the harassment during online classes. Students use anonymous IDs, make personal attacks and harass us.
This apart, they also share the links of video sessions with strangers, allowing them to join the class, who would also pass comments or send lewd chats. With digital classes, it is really difficult to find the culprit. With no hopes of physical classes commencing soon, I have given up on taking online classes and have decided to quit my job,” said Roopa, a PU lecturer at a private college.
With educational institutions paying half or partial salary to teachers, claiming there was no proper admission and revenue generation due to the pandemic, teachers say they had taken up part-time jobs in the evening to run the family by working as a delivery agent, tailor, and other odd jobs. There too, teachers say, when students find out about the teachers taking up odd jobs, they pass personal comments during class hours.
“In the middle of a class, a student logged into the session and sent a message asking me if I can stitch a designer blouse for his girlfriend. It’s really hard to withstand these kinds of harassment, especially from students, and the management never takes any action against students and would say teachers to be extra cautious at all time. So I have decided to quit,” said a former degree college lecturer, who was working part-time at a boutique.
The gravity of this issue is so much that an English lecturer at a premiere educational institute in Bengaluru allegedly committed suicide after several students during his class asked him to deliver pizza and repeatedly harassed him after finding out that the teacher was working as a pizza delivery executive during night hours for earn extra income amid the pandemic situation.
“He was deeply depressed by the comments of the students and is said to have taken this extreme step due. We, teachers, are facing a lot of harassment and bullying. Earlier, we used to tell students not to be emotional or sensitive when someone passes a comment, but sadly, now we teachers are pushed to implement it. At least 14 teachers in our institute have quit, citing they were not ready to face these kinds of harassment from students,” said Santhosh (name changed), a colleague of the deceased lecturer.