The expert committee formed by the State government to look into the modalities of online classes submitted its report on July 7. The committee has allowed both live as well as pre-recorded classes but has set some guidelines.

The report titled “Continuation of Learning in School Education of Karnataka”, which lays down guidelines for technology-enabled education during the COVID-19 pandemic, states that parental supervision will be mandatory for students up to grade two.

The report stipulates the maximum screen time per session at 30 minutes with 15 minutes extra time for grades VI and upwards.

Also read: Limitations of online learning

It also specifies the frequency of classes that can be held every week. School managements can conduct alternative-day classes for students up to class II, while five-days-a-week classes are allowed for class III and above. “Two days of the week should be strictly non-screen time,” the report states.

The report also states that the recordings of the live sessions should be made accessible with adequate cyber protection in place to prevent misuse.

‘Make learning accessible’

The committee has asked schools to employ a blended approach, making use of different modes to enable learning. “When technology is used, no child must be deprived access to education – if a child, for whatever reason is unable to access through technology, the school should provide ways in which the key learning objectives of that session/module is accessible to the child,” the report states.

The committee has also recommended to the Department of Primary and Secondary Education that it re-launch its television and radio broadcasts and curate “meaningful teaching and learning material to suit the current times”.

The committee has also suggested that schools be transparent and put their plans and methods in public domain, inviting educationists to critique their approach.

If there are violations of the guidelines, the Department must act on parents’ complaints.

The committee said all innovative solutions must be used to keep the child’s interest at the centre and acknowledged that there was no “one size fits all’.

Sources said that while these are recommendations of the committee, the Department will deliberate and issue a government order in this regard.

The State government had earlier banned online classes till class V — a move that was opposed by a section of parents and school managements. The Department had later permitted online classes temporarily, based on the norms stipulated by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, awaiting the expert committee’s report.

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