Bengaluru, Oct 29: The department of public instruction has issued a circular which formally fixes the duration for live sessions of online classes. The timetable is based on the report of an expert committee. The circular also warns of disciplinary action against schools that flout the norms.
As reported, S Suresh Kumar, primary and secondary education minister, had announced last week that the government “will soon” implement the expert committee’s report that was submitted in July. The minister had also directed the commissioner of public instruction to issue a circular in this regard.
The circular, dated October 22, has instructed schools to follow a “judicious mix” of live and recorded sessions. Each live online session cannot extend beyond 30 minutes for students till grade 5 and 30-45 minutes for those till grade 10.
Pre-primary classes (3-6 years) can have one session daily thrice a week; grades 1-2 two sessions per day thrice a week; grades 3-5 two sessions daily five days a week; grades 6-8 three sessions daily for five days a week and grades 9-10 four classes daily five days a week. Classes have to be interactive. Presence of parents in the online session is mandatory till class 2.
For pre-primary to grade 2, the content mix has to be play, stories, rhymes and other innovative activities. In grades 3-5, the content has to be 25% curricular and rest co-curricular. In grades 6-8, both curricular and extracurricular should have equal weightage and in 9-10, there should be 75% curricular and 25% co-curricular.
The minister said action will be taken against schools violating these norms as per section 124 (5) of the Karnataka Education Act 1983. The circular states the government issued the circular following media reports that online classes are affecting children’s eyes.
Private schools had launched online classes after schools shut down in March following the nationwide lockdown. On June 15, the Karnataka government banned live online classes for classes LKG to Grade 5, but permitted recorded classes. It announced that an expert committee would be set up to fix modalities for grades 6 and above. On June 27, it issued another order with time restrictions for classes 6-10. A group of parents challenged the order in the high court, which stayed the June 15 and June 27 orders.