It has been four days since the Karnataka government directed schools in the state to stop online classes for students up to Class 5. However, a government order has not been sent to schools in the state yet, leading to virtual classes still being conducted for many students.
Several parents in Bengaluru told TNM that since the schools had not received an order directing them to stop holding online classes, students have been attending them for the past four days.
â€śMy son is in Class 4 and has had to attend classes over the past few days," a parent whose son attends Vibgyor School in Bengaluruâ€™s Bannerghatta, told TNM. "The school says they have not received information about the governmentâ€™s decision. Anyway, the school is not very communicative. They donâ€™t respond to emails. When we called the school, they said they have not heard anything from the management and that they will follow the managementâ€™s instructions only.â€ť
â€śOther schools have suspended classes which means they know of the decision. But my children have to sit through these classes, the parent added.
Parents have also said that complicated concepts cannot be taught that easily over the internet and virtual classes come with their own challenges. â€śOne day the lesson was complicated and my son who is in Class 1 did not understand properly. So I had to sit with him for the class. I canâ€™t work and attend my sonâ€™s classes at the same time,â€ť a parent told TNM, whose son usually has to attend classes from 11.30 am to 2.30 pm.
"The school management said they haven't received an order and continued with live online classes for students in Class 1 today (Monday). It has been made compulsory. The kids in Class 1 cannot be virtually taught to read and write," another parent of a student studying at Ebenezer International School in Bengaluru's Electronic City said. The parent also shared a screenshot of the timetable sent out to the student for online lessons from 8.30 am to 11.30 am on June 15.
The Karnataka government had stopped online classes â€” first, live and later, pre-recorded as well â€” for students up to Class 5 on June 11. Education Minister Suresh Kumar stated that a committee comprising experts will be formed to decide how to limit screen time for children and plan proper guidelines for the use of the internet in education. There is no word on the expert committee from the government, either.
When TNM reached out to authorities of the Karnataka Education Department, they admitted that an order had not been issued, and was still being processed.
"The order is being issued at the government level. It is being processed. The order will have the details of the expert committee also. We will take action after the order is issued,â€ť Commissioner of Public Instruction, KG Jagadeesh, told TNM.
With inputs from Prajwal Bhat