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Germany

In Germany, New Doubts About Digital Learning For Kids

A recent study shows overwhelming agreement that it's unnecessary to offer pre-school children digital training. And nearly all parents agree on strict limits to screen time as kids get older.

In Germany, New Doubts About Digital Learning For Kids
Johanna Bruckner

MUNICH — Her hands run over the high-gloss magazine cover, and as she turns pages she gets a few paper cuts on her tiny fingers. In a 90-second YouTube clip, a father and professed Apple fan lets his then 1-year-old daughter play with an iPad and various magazines, but the latter evidently just frustrate her. The video shows how digital media are present in the daily lives of even very small children.

The Allensbach Institute for Public Opinion Research recently conducted a survey of where digital training stands in German preschools and elementary schools. Researchers included 1,500 parents of young children all across Germany, along with preschool and elementary school teachers. What emerged was that neither parents nor teachers see preschool as the place to teach children about computers, tablets and smartphones. On the contrary, they fear that doing so would overwhelm the children.

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Society

Taking A Position: A Call To Regulate Yoga In India

Trained practitioners warn that unregulated yoga can be detrimental to people's health. The government in India, where the ancient practice was invented, knows this very well — yet continues to postpone regulation.

Prime Minister Modi at a mass yoga demonstration in Lucknow, India

Banjot Kaur

NEW DELHI — Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the observance of the eighth International Yoga Day from Mysuru, in southwestern India, early on the morning of June 21. Together with his colleagues from the Bharatiya Janata Party, he set out to mark the occasion in various parts of the country — reviving an annual ritual that had to take a break for the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yoga is one of the five kinds of alternative Indian medicine listed under India’s AYUSH efforts — standing for "Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and naturopathy, and Homeopathy." Among them, only yoga is yet to be regulated under any Act of Parliament: All other practices are governed by the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (NCISM), Act 2020.

Yoga and naturopathy are taught at the undergraduate level in 70 medical colleges across 14 Indian states. The Mangalore University in Karnataka first launched this course in 1989; today, these subjects are also taught at the postgraduate level.

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