The standard operating procedure for conducting online classes is being worked upon by the HRD ministry. This standard operating procedure will ensure that students don’t need to spend hours in front of computers and phones in the name of attending virtual classes. It will also ensure that kids can learn at their own pace, added the officials.
The pandemic circumstances have mandated the classroom teaching ot shift to online/digital learning as schools had to be kept closed for more than three months now.
Parents have been complaining repeatedly about their children’s increased screen time and now guidelines are being developed keeping in view of these issues.
There are several other issues that have also surfaced including unavailability of more than one device in a family. This enables only one kid to attend a virtual class at a time. Also, the increased screen time being one.
A senior official also said that on one hand, schools always discouraged the use of mobile phones and never permitted their use within the premises, and now all of a sudden they are dependent on mobile phones for the whole day. He suggested that a balance needs to be maintained to ensure a healthy approach in e-learning.
The guidelines are in making after consultation with various stakeholders and it will be recommended that there should be a fixed duration of online classes so that the students need not sit in front of the electronic devices and screens for long hours.
The official also added that the platforms used for imparting classes will let students work and learn at their own pace instead of making it a strict classroom bound approach.
Multiple models will also be proposed by these guidelines raging from students like those who have access to digital amenities to those students who have access to just radio sets or maybe not even that.
The focus areas of these guidelines will be Prioritising the mental health of students, addressing cybersecurity concerns, and ensuring a safe and accessible learning environment for students.
Soon after the center announced a nationwide lockdown On March 24, all the universities and schools are shut since then. Although a classroom teaching shut down was done countrywide on March 16.
The schools and colleges have continued to remain closed, although the government has eased restrictions now.
School Education Secretary Anita Karwal spoke about the guidelines when a virtual conference was conducted recently by Ashoka University on the future of schools in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.
She said that a huge upsurge has occurred in digital education and also a considerable uproar on how the schools are doing this. She added that the use of technology without equity can not help in achieving effective learning for children.