GENERICO.ruScienceAcademician Basyuk told how the Internet reduces the intellectual abilities of Russian children

Academician Basyuk told how the Internet reduces the intellectual abilities of Russian children

The growing generation of Russians is the first that does not rely on living everyday experience for knowledge

The IQ level of those born after 1981 is 20 percent lower than that of generations born since 1930 to 1980s. This alarming fact was presented at a meeting of the Coordination Council of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Russian Open Society “Health and Education of Children, Adolescents and Youth” by the Vice President of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Mikhail Piradov. Leading scientists of the country: why can there be a decrease in intelligence, and with it a deterioration in health among modern youth?

The growing generation of Russians is the first that does not rely on living everyday experience for knowledge

The meeting was started by the President of the Russian Academy of Education, Olga Vasilyeva. She gave an excursion into the history of modern hygiene of children and adolescents, citing, in particular, the teachings of Vladimir Monomakh and “The Honest Mirror of Youth” as an example. the times of Peter the Great.

 Not much has changed since then. Children still need care, parental attention, good nutrition, education, exercise and rest. But as it turns out, even our modern civilization does not provide the younger generation with everything they need. Mikhail Piradov, who spoke about the average IQ level (it was tested among Western Europeans), noted that researchers in Russia have also noticed a decrease in the IQ of citizens. Then he philosophically noted: “Something is happening on this planet… If a country wants to be a leader in such conditions, it will take significant effort.”

So, in order to understand what to do, we must first understand what we have, starting with the health of the younger generation. In Russia, for a population of 145.578 million there are only 30.328 million children (that is, only 21%).

According to the next speaker, RAS academician Gennady Onishchenko, only 27.9 percent of this amount can be classified as the first health group, that is, children with normal development and level of functioning of systems and organs. And this, as it turned out, is still a good indicator! “In the post-Soviet years (this group) did not reach even 10%,” – said the former chief sanitary doctor of the Russian Federation. 

The majority of Russian children – 56.3% – belong to the second health group, that is, healthy, but with risk factors for the occurrence of various pathologies. The third group – 13.2% – These are children with chronic diseases and congenital malformations, but with preserved functionality. Fourth — 0.6% –  children with significant health problems, and a fifth – 2% – sick children with significantly reduced functional capabilities.

Of course, a child’s health is established from birth, or even before conception. As Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences Leila Namazova-Baranova noted, modern medicine today allocates 1000 days to programming the health of a future person – that is, from the moment of conception until the end of the second year of extrauterine life. “However, we pediatricians know that this is a “window” opens much earlier – says the academician. – For example, it is known that if an expectant mother takes folic acid six months before the expected pregnancy, the risk of malformations of the nervous system in the unborn child will decrease three times!Namazova-Baranova also believes that the “window” health programming does not close even after two years. Adults should pay special attention to the school age of children.

As it turned out, the well-being of schoolchildren, in addition to other factors, can deteriorate in the process of education due to -due to overcrowding in classes, multiple shifts of study, school furniture that is inappropriate for age, and excessive use of the digital environment. It is at school age that children often develop myopia, digestive diseases, disorders of posture and the nervous system.

Gennady Onishchenko cited as an example the sanitary and technical condition of Russian educational institutions. It turns out that in the country –  3680 (2.1%)  educational organizations do not have  centralized water supply, 1.4% do not have a heating system (7% of them are heated by simple stoves). In the 21st century, classrooms in 28 (!) subjects of the Russian Federation are heated with wood. Most of these are in the Trans-Baikal Territory, in the Arkhangelsk, Pskov, Tver regions, in Buryatia, as well as in the Krasnoyarsk Territory and Irkutsk Region. The largest share of organizations that do not have centralized drainage, water supply and heating systems is in the Chechen Republic, Transbaikalia and Tyva. 

The most schools operate in two shifts in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug (94 .5%), in Chechnya (64%) and in Tyva (49.7%).

From external reasons associated with the unsatisfactory level of learning conditions, we move on to reasons of an individual nature. The modern standard of living with the addiction of many people to fast food has already led to obesity of 650 million of the adult population of the Earth. Children copy adults – There are already 379 million small fat people in the world.

In Russia, more than 28 million people (24.1% of the total adult population) have an increased body mass index. And among children, according to data cited by Gennady Onishchenko, every third schoolchild suffers from obesity.

Perhaps excess body weight would not be so dangerous for children if they moved more. But a large number of modern students suffer from physical inactivity, which, in turn, goes hand in hand with children’s involvement in cyberspace. According to WHO, among the world's nearly 4 billion users – 46% – teenagers, and 15% of them are online for four or more hours a day.

The Internet has long entered the lives of even the smallest – According to WHO, 68% of children under three years of age use screen media every day, 5% of preschoolers have profiles on social networks. Of course, the responsibility for the premature involvement of children in the Internet lies with their parents; some of them use the Internet as an animator (55%) or, – just think about it, – as a tool for organizing food (32%)!

Someone will decide that the harmful effects of the Internet are limited only to physical inactivity and extra pounds. But scientists conducted a study and came to the conclusion that the cognitive functions of children and adolescents also suffer from excessive digital load.

Attention, thinking, speech, memory form the basis of intelligence and are in many ways a necessary condition for the development of a full-fledged personality.

According to Candidate of Medical Sciences Georgy Karkashadze, pregnancy, childbirth, heredity, – all this is the basic level for the development of the above qualities. Next come – social factors, such as family living conditions and stay in an educational institution. It is in elementary school that many begin to become involved in the uncontrolled use of gadgets, from which, after a while, those same cognitive functions begin to noticeably suffer.

Many hours of “freezing” on computers. in computer games, when watching videos, entails a number of deviations in the field of cognitive flexibility, working with texts, and understanding them. Such children, as a rule, experience a decrease  progress. 

“Unfortunately, despite all this, digital activity is still not regulated, – notes the scientist. – If there are restrictions anywhere, – This is just a private initiative.”

But Academician of the Russian Academy of Education Viktor Basyuk looked at digitalization from an unusual angle. “In the last decade, we have seen the entry into the field of education of children formed under the influence of the online community, – says the scientist. – Before our eyes, a generation is growing up whose experience of personal development will be mediated by interaction with powerful artificial intelligence.” According to Basyuk, in this regard, teachers simply need new methods of working with children.

The growing generation, according to Basyuk, – the first, which does not rely on the “living” everyday experience. The knowledge of these children, often devoid of direct practice, comes down to wandering through information sources. “In the network from the original base, they find numerous branches that provide endless potential for effectiveness, – says the RAO academician. – This can make any cognitive activity meaningless. This is what in most cases explains teachers’ rejection of digitalization. The Internet, in their opinion, should be used in a very measured manner.”

The scientist notes another aspect that teachers would do well to pay attention to. Against the backdrop of children's long stay in cyberspace, in social networks, where quick reactions are especially valued, they have developed an urgent need for recognition of their success, for the mutual exchange of mental energy.

How to help the teacher adjust their work taking into account this fact? It is necessary to develop methods for constant feedback with children, constant dialogue, the scientist believes.

According to the Central Research Institute of Epidemiology in Russia, 8.4% (47,712) of children had Covid, in 49.9% of cases the new coronavirus infection passed in a mild form, in 32.3% – it was asymptomatic in 0.2% of cases – the disease was severe, and deaths were recorded in 0.005%.

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