Parents of students from various private schools took to Twitter on Sunday to bring to the governmentâ€™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.
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.
â€śSetting 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 accessâ€ť one tweet read
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 acess @nimmasuresh #NimmaSureshFail #righttolearnâ€” RightToLearn (@RightToLearn2) June 21, 2020
â€śInstead of working on ensuring access during April and May, the minister has chosen to ban education altogether in June. Couldnâ€™t he have setup the committee in April. Why wake up only in June and now hiding behind the committee?â€ť
Instead of working on ensuring access during April and May, the minster has chosen to ban education altogether in June.â€” Deepu Chandran (@deepuchandranpk) June 21, 2020
Couldnâ€™t he have setup the committe in April. Why wake up only in June and now hiding behind the committee? #NimmaSureshFail #righttolearn
â€śLet schools, teachers, parents and kids figure out what works for them. Donâ€™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 â€ś
Lets schools, teachers, parents and kids figure out what works for them. Donâ€™t Ban. Thats lazy. Work on ensuring facilities are there in government schools and with kids who have no avenue to learn. #NimmaSureshFail #rightolearn #BanBedaChoiceBeku @nimmasureshâ€” shahistha (@shahist79756248) June 21, 2020
A few parents pointed out that children need continuity and not learning anything for months can be detrimental.
All industries are adapting to the changing scenario. Although Education is a state subject, we cannot turn a blind eye to the fact that our kids will miss out a lot in the months lost. Karnataka ministry needs to change its outlook. #righttolearn #HRDMinistry https://t.co/j5nvnZ1V2xâ€” Nayanika B (@NayanikaBanerj3) June 21, 2020
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.
The Delhi high court has appreciated the efforts by schools to provide online learning. Is our Karnataka govt blind to our teachers' efforts to give our children the right to their future? #righttolearn #BanBedaChoiceBeku #NimmaSureshFail @CMofKarnataka @HRDMinistryâ€” Rajesh Soundararajan (@rajeshsound) June 21, 2020
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.
Rajesh Bhat, who is part of the All India Save Education campaign, says that educational institutions are trying to put pressure on the government. â€śPrivate 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.â€ť
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.