While most schools in the country are considering leaping into the digital space by introducing tablets and laptops in classrooms, it seems parents are not yet ready to take the plunge, according to a recent survey.

According to the survey’s findings, which included responses from parents of children studying in Nursery to Class X, the use of technology was negatively affecting students. Most respondents said students’ screen time was up to one hour each day.

While use of technology at schools could only add to this, principals feel there is no way technology can be left out of the classroom. Seema Saini, principal, NL Dalmia School, said, “A better use of screen time is if schools use technology and ask students to research on topics ahead of a class.

Technology today cannot be ignored but it cannot replace traditional systems and values.” At 74% of the schools, electronic gadgets were already being used in classrooms, said the respondents.

Over 70% respondents said they were looking for a balance in the use of technology and traditional ways at their child’s school.

Raghav Podar, trustee, Podar World School, which conducted the survey, said, “For us too, the connection between student and teacher is critical to learning and we are trying to use technology to make it more immersive. We are not looking to replace the human touch from classrooms.”

Developmental experts, however, warn schools and parents about the age at which gadgets are introduced to children.

“Today, technology cannot be avoided but must be introduced to children as late as possible because once they begin using gadgets and are connected to the internet, it is very difficult to control what they are exposed to. It also has a huge addiction potential,” said development paediatrician Dr. Samir Dalwai.

Last year, a school in the city had to roll back its plans to replace textbooks by tablets after resistance from a large number of parents.

Schools which have successfully introduced tablets feel they are still not ready to scale up the exercise.

“The content available in the digital format is still very limited. The costs involved are also high and schools need to consider if every single parent is onboard,” said Podar.