Karnataka: Expert committee recommends age-appropriate approach for online classes

Written by Ralph Alex Arakal
| Bengaluru |

Published: July 8, 2020 2:49:50 pm

online classes, digital classes, online education elearning, karnataka news, education news Schools are holding online classes since mid-March (Representational)

Stressing on the need to ensure access to technology to the last student, the expert committee constituted by the Karnataka government will formulate guidelines for online classes in schools. It recommended an age-appropriate approach for school students attending online classes.

The committee submitted a report titled ‘Continuation of Learning in School Education of Karnataka’, in the view of the situation in which schools remain shut due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. “When technology is used, no child must be deprived of access to education. There should be no compromise in reaching out to the last child. Every child has to have access to education,” the report stated.

Further, it was also recommended that the state government should ensure that no student is de-enrolled from schools for being unable to use a technology-based approach.

Allow live, pre-recorded online classes: Expert committee

Almost a month after Primary and Secondary Education Minister S Suresh Kumar announced the government’s decision to stop live online classes conducted by schools across the state for students up to the fifth standard, the expert committee recommended allowing the same – both live and recorded.

As per the report, a “judicious mix” of synchronous (live) and asynchronous (pre-recorded) mode can be used for online classes.

Further, the maximum screen time allowed to students has also been set. While a maximum of 30 minutes per session is recommended for students from pre-primary classes to the fifth standard, 30 to 45 minute-sessions will be allowed to students further up to class 10.

However, the number of sessions will be limited as per the age group. For pre-primary students, only one session per day (thrice per week) will be allowed, the same for first and second standard students will be two sessions per day (thrice per week).

For students in classes 3-5, schools can be allowed two online sessions per day (5 days a week), the same for classes 6-8 and 9-10 will be three and four respectively (5 days per week), the committee recommended.

Dr Niranjanaradhya V P, a member of the committee told Indianexpress.com that the core essence of the report is how to use technology in education rather than making technology as education.

Read | Parents not ready to send children to school, demand reduced syllabus, to continue online classes

“It is a plan to engage children during this unprecedented crisis and beyond as part of the continuation of learning. I strongly believe that the government will take it forward to issue appropriate government order /guidelines,” he said.

He claimed that the report is “inclusive and consensual” involving all primary stakeholders.

Earlier, the Karnataka government had prohibited online classes up to class 5 based on consultations held with experts of the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS). Schools, however, were allowed to continue online classes for other sessions during which the committee headed by Dr MK Sridhar — an educationist who was part of drafting the National Education Policy 2019 — was constituted to look into the modalities and to recommend detailed guidelines for the same.

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Zeeshan Laskar

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