Parents and teachers asked why the govt had not confirmed a committee in April or May.

Child uses television to follow online classesFile photo
news Education Sunday, June 21, 2020 - 19:25

Parents of students from various private schools took to Twitter on Sunday to bring to the government’s attention that they want online classes to resume for their wards, and want the ban on online classes revoked.

Karnataka Education Department had passed an order last week banning all virtual classes (live and recorded) for classes up to standard 5. The government is currently consulting with an expert committee to draw up guidelines on online classes for school students.

Read: Live virtual and pre-recorded classes stopped for students till Class 5 in Karnataka

Parents tweeted, saying the government should work on ensuring access, instead of banning classes. Parents also noted that the government had not done any forward planning and paid attention to the issue during April and May, when schools were shut.

“Setting up the committee after denying everyone education is just a means to hide the incompetence of the ministry. Why deny access to everyone? Work on ensuring access” one tweet read

“Instead of working on ensuring access during April and May, the minister has chosen to ban education altogether in June. Couldn’t he have setup the committee in April. Why wake up only in June and now hiding behind the committee?”

“Let schools, teachers, parents and kids figure out what works for them. Don’t Ban. That's lazy. Work on ensuring facilities are there in government schools and with kids who have no avenue to learn. #NimmaSureshFail #rightolearn #BanBedaChoiceBeku “

A few parents pointed out that children need continuity and not learning anything for months can be detrimental.

Teachers too joined the tweetstorm pledging their support for online classes. Quite a few schools have laid off or cut salaries of teachers since the government has told parents that they need not pay fees for now, till classes resume.

Over the last few weeks, many have opposed online classes as it would adversely affect those students who do not have access to a laptop, mobile phone or internet. With most parents working from home, many who have laptops and mobiles are unable to spare it for their wards. To combat this, the government had proposed to have televised classes for students as most children have TV in their homes. Moreover, schools were trying to complete the syllabus through online classes, thereby making students glued to the screens for hours.

Also read: Karnataka seeks exclusive channels for televised education, writes to Centre

Rajesh Bhat, who is part of the All India Save Education campaign, says that educational institutions are trying to put pressure on the government. “Private international schools badly want online classes (to continue). Many schools have bought software paying lakhs of rupees from software developers. Now, the ban on online classes have affected them. Many schools have not gotten admissions after the ban on online classes.”

Education Minister Suresh Kumar had told TNM that the ban is only temporary and the committee was looking at curtailing hours of learning and cutting down the syllabus.

However, if the government does not make its position clear by next week, it could spell more trouble for schools and agitate parents who want online classes to resume.

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