The Karnataka government has announced that all kinds of virtual classes, including pre-recorded ones, will be stopped for students till Class 5. The Karnataka Primary and Secondary Education Minister Suresh Kumar on Thursday confirmed to TNM that pre-recorded classes will also not be held for students upto Class 5 anymore. The decision to stop pre-recorded classes will be reviewed by a Committee.
The decision comes a day after the government banned live classes for students till Class 5, but said pre-recorded classes would be allowed.
Some private schools in Karnataka have been holding virtual lessons for students from Class 4 to 7. While live classes for students up to Class 5 were halted on Wednesday, pre-recorded classes have also been prohibited. Fee collection for all online classes has also been prohibited. A committee formed by the state education department will be issuing detailed guidelines for the regulation of 'screen time' for students.
Earlier, an announcement by Law Minister JC Madhuswamy stating that online classes had been banned for students till Class 7 had created confusion. However, Education Minister Suresh Kumar later clarified that this was just advice from other ministers and that a decision is yet to be taken. He reiterated that the ban is only till Class 5.
The state has been holding deliberations with experts and doctors on how to engage students and the modalities of both online and pre-recorded classes. It was noted that many complaints around online classes were received.
Experts from Bengaluru’s NIMHANS had stated that virtual classes ideally should not be held for students up to Class 3. Citing the World Health Organisation’s recommendation, Dr BN Gangadhar had told TNM that those under 6 years of age should not have more than one hour of screen time.