"The day I took Internet connection for my son reading in class seven, I became mentally prepared that I will lose control from over him to a great extent. My assumption was right. Already six months have passed, and my son has been a late riser. He goes to bed late at night chatting and browsing various sites, and it is I who have to take all the pains of waking him up for school that starts at 8AM. Now I am very much confused whether I should have given him net connection," commented Nahid Sultana, a resident of Dhannondi area.
Like Nahid Sultana, today many guardians are at a dilemma whether they should allow their children to use Internet at home. They are aware that Internet can be a good source of managing different learning materials and it can also help them grow fit for surviving in the competitive world, at the same time they are worried about the negative consequences of using Internet by their young children who are very much receptive to harmful sites, also their habit of chatting with known or unknown ones for a long time.
"My son convinced me the sites like google are very helpful for the clarification of different concepts. So I arranged net connection for him, and now I see he is more interested about chatting and browsing instead of taking help from instructive sites like google. That really disappoints me," said one P K Saha, a confused guardian who shifted his family from Narayangaj to Dhaka only to educate his children and provide them with a better education.
The students, on the other hand, do not agree with their parents. They say that Internet has made their studies much easier. " I can easily go to google search engine for the definition of any science concept and I get hundreds of materials which can readily help me prepare any homework said Yawar, son of Ms. Nahid of Dhanmondi area.
" I know my father has a high expectation about me. He is also right I sometimes waste time in chatting or browsing at some games site. But I also want to say I can talk about classes, homeworks, also the sites like google are really helpful to write essays or prepare assignments. I cannot think of my home where there won't be any net connection" said Joy, the yongest son of P K Saha.
Teachers are not sure whether to suggest to their guardians about giving net connection to their sons. " We are confused, we know Internet can be a good source of developing knowledge, but at the same time it can also lead them to bad path. So we want restricted use of net at home" said Aminul Haq , who is a freelance English teacher in Dhanmondi.
"They can chat since this gives them a recreational pleasure", said Professor Iftekhar Ghani Chowdhury, director of Institute of Institute of Business Administration of Dhaka University. He also said that students can learn about a book or a publication that might be of use to them from the net. Use of Internet is very much necessary for those who want to be business leaders, prof Ghani opined. But at the same time he alerts saying that net connectivity is like virus, the misuse of it may spread like anything in our society.
To ensure restricted use of net at home, many guardians prefer to take their personal computer at the drawing room and not in the living room of their kids so that they can monitor what exactly their children are doing with the net.
"You cannot stop today's children to use net. What you can do is motivate them to use it in a proper way," said Rasel Ahmed Chowdhury, a guardian whose daughter is a student of class six. "I always keep an eagle eye on my daughter's using net. Whenever she is browsing and if I am outside home, I phone her and ask her what site she is browsing," he thinks it is the duty of various Internet service providers to restrict different adult sites.
Teachers are increasingly aware of use of chat language in the scripts. Today many students write '&' for and, 'u' for you-these are really disturbing. These are all the results of using yahoo or MSN messenger. This practice must be stopped," said Tariq Khan, a language teacher.
Internet is also hampering creativity of our students. Instead of making something on their own, they take help from the net. " I told them to write on My Mother and one of my students just copied an essay collected from young corner page of a daily. This is really frustrating," commented Jahangir Alam, a language teacher at a prominent Bangla medium school.
Plagiarism is a great sin and students tend to forget it when they copy things from the net. Guardians are sometimes helpless about this. " Since I am a working mother and feel tired at the end of the day it is not possible to supervise whether my son is copying from net or writing himself," said Asma Banu, a guardian from Rampura.
Many guardians are happy about the net connection at their home for their kids. "My daughters are in touch with her cousins in Canada, USA at a very low cost, my telephone bill has reduced to a drastic rate and that really gives me a good feeling."
Many guardians feel the need of net habit when they think of higher studies for their children. " I gave my daughter complete freedom to use the net and she chose her university in UK, contacted there and eventually got admitted. My burden was reduced to a great extent since she could chose her own university from the net." said Anjum Shakil, a happy guardian from Uttara.