The Karnataka government on Thursday said that a few ministers suggested that the ban on holding live online classes be extended to students up to class 7 in the state. A state cabinet meeting attended by state Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa discussed this and a decision will be taken later.
The discussion comes following an announcement made on Wednesday banning live virtual classes for students up to Class 5. The collection of fees for such classes has also been prohibited while pre-recorded classes will continue until a committee formed by the state education department issues guidelines for the regulation of 'screen time' for students.
Private schools in Karnataka have been conducting live virtual classes for students from Classes 4 to 7 and even for lower grades. Such classes for students up to Class 5 will now be halted.
"The board examinations to be held in the state will continue as per schedule," Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister JC Madhuswamy said on the sidelines of the meeting chaired by Yediyurappa.
While Madhuswamy highlighted the struggles faced by students in rural areas, the decision by the state government was also prompted by an outcry from parents over the lack of regulations in live classes that were held online. Parents complained that some classes extended for hours.
Pre-recorded modules along the lines of the classes conducted by the state education department on DD Chandana will continue in the state. An expert committee will decide the guidelines for such classes.
Earlier, experts from National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences (NIMHANS) had recommended that children under six years of age should not be exposed to a screen time of more than one hour.
(Note: This story has been modified. Though the Law Minister initially said that there was an extension of ban, the Education Minister clarified that was not so.)
Karnataka Govt has decided to stop all On-line classes for LKG, UKG & classes up to 5th std.â€” S.Suresh Kumar, Minister - Govt of Karnataka (@nimmasuresh) June 11, 2020
To extend this up to 7th std is only a suggestion from few cabinet ministers as expressed in an informal discussion and NOT a decision.