The Madras High Court has directed the Tamil Nadu government to report its stance on the regulations of timings of online classes provided to the students in the state.
The court was hearing a batch of petitions filed against the conducting of online classes for school students. The concerns expressed by the petitioners included the possibility of students getting distracted by obscene advertisements online and lack of regulations on the time during which students can be exposed to the screen and digital gadgets. The petitions also sought the court to ban online classes for students of Classes 1 to 5 and restrict the class timings for students of Classes 6 to 12 to just two hours every day owing to the health issues students can face due to screen overexposure.
On Monday, a bench consisting of Justice MM Sundresh and R Hemalatha resumed the hearing on the case. The counsel for the petitioners emphasised that overexposure to screens will lead to Computer Vision Syndrome in children.
In an earlier hearing, the court had raised questions on the steps taken by the Centre and the state governments on regulating the online classes provided to children. The union government recently issued guidelines on the timings of online classes. According to the guidelines, kindergarten children can be made to attend online classes only for 30 minutes in a day while the time cap for students in Classes 1 to 8 is two sessions of 45 minutes each. For students in Classes 9 to 12, four sessions of 45 minutes each shall be the maximum time permitted. This was submitted to the bench on Monday.
Recording all submissions, the bench directed the state government to respond with the steps taken to formulate guidelines for online education in line with those passed by the union government, by next Monday.