The Karnataka government told the Karnataka High Court on Monday that by way of an interim arrangement, it has allowed schools to conduct online classes for students of Lower KG to Standard V, for limited hours.
The stop gap arrangement is made till the government issues final guidelines after considering the recommendations made by the expert committee
A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Nataraj Rangaswamy was informed about the modified order issued on June 27, which reads that guidelines issued regarding digital education by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, shall be followed by all the schools.
As per the Ministry guidelines titled 'Pragyata' guidelines for Digital Education, the following are the conditions :
For: Pre- Primary On any one day of the week, for interacting solely with parents and guiding them, not more than 30 minutes.
For students of Class 1 to 5: Online synchronous learning may be undertaken for not more than 2 sessions of 30-45 minutes (maximum 3 days in a week) on alternative days.
For students of class 6 to 8: Online synchronous learning may be undertaken for not more than 2 sessions of 30-45 minutes for 5 days in a week. 9 to 10 Online synchronous learning may be undertaken for not more than 4 sessions of 30-45 minutes for 5 days in a week.
The government order also says "Further, as there is a need to provide online education as supplementary to formal education in view of Covid 19 pandemic, no extra fees can be charged. The cost for this has to be borne from the regular annual tuition fee."
The modified order followed after the directions of court issued on June 26, asking the state government to come out with a solution after expressing a prima facie view that the state could not have by passing an order prevented schools across all boards from conducting online classes for students of Lower KG to Standard V. The Court had also directed the state government to consider permitting online classes for certain hours till the guidelines were framed.
The court has been hearing a bunch of petitions challenging the complete ban order issued on June 15 by the government. During the hearing, on Monday, counsel for the petitioners urged the court to stay the modified order of June 27, as it amounted to limited functioning of schools. The court after observing that the modified order issued on June 27, needed to be challenged before any substantive prayer can be granted allowed the petitioners to amend their plea and posted the matters for preliminary hearing on July 2.