Karnataka sets guidelines for online learning

The committee of experts formed by the state government to examine the terms of the online courses submitted its report on July 7. The committee authorized live and pre-recorded courses, but set certain guidelines. The report stipulates the maximum screen time per session at 30 minutes with 15 minutes of additional time for classes VI and higher.

It also specifies the frequency of the courses which can take place every week. School administrators can organize alternative lessons for pupils up to class II, while lessons of five days a week are authorized for class III and above. The report says that screens should be strictly reserved twice a week. The report also says that the recordings of the live sessions should be made available with adequate cyber protection in place to prevent abuse.

Making learning accessible

The committee asked the schools to use a blended approach, using different modes to enable learning. The reports indicate that no child should be denied access to education while using technology. If said technology cannot be accessed by a child the school should provide the means by which the key learning objectives of this session/module are accessible to the child.

The committee also recommended that the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education revive its television and radio broadcasts and organize “significant teaching and learning materials adapted to the current era”.

The committee also suggested that schools be transparent and put their plans and methods in the public domain, inviting educators to criticize their approach.

In the event of a violation of the directives, the Ministry must follow up on parents’ complaints.

The committee declared that all innovative solutions must be used to keep the child’s interests at the center and recognized that there was no “one-size-fits-all” solution.

Sources have stated that, although these are recommendations of the committee, the ministry will deliberate and issue a government order in this regard.

The state government had previously banned online courses up to grade V – a decision opposed by a parent section and school principals. The Department subsequently temporarily authorized online courses, in accordance with the standards stipulated by the Ministry of Human Resources Development, pending the report of the committee of experts.


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