Udayavni Special

Expert committee submits recommendations on online classes to govt


Team Udayavani, Jul 7, 2020, 7:50 PM IST

Bengaluru: An expert committee of academic and health experts has submitted its recommendations on online classes to the government on July 7.

The government had earlier its June 15 order and allowed schools to hold classes for classes 1-10, subject to stipulated conditions until the expert committee, set up by it submitted its recommendations.

Apart from stipulating conditions on the conduct of classes i.e frequency and timings, the committee headed by Dr MK Sridhar have put forth few key recommendations.

Parental supervision has been deemed must for students upto class 2. Parental supervision is preferable for classes 3-5.

For classes upto class 5, online teaching time per session has been permitted for 30 minutes while for class 6-10 15 minutes extra time is allowed.

Only one session per day is allowed for pre-primary classes, two sessions for class 1-5, three sessions for class 6-8 and four sessions for class 9-10.

Classes to be conducted for three-days-a-week for students up to class II, while five-days-a-week classes are allowed for class III and above.

Two days of the week should be strictly non-screen time.

Live as well as pre-recorded classes has been allowed with certain guidelines and cyber protection measures.

Use of technology should not be the only option for distance learning in a school — All feasible options should be used and continuously revised keeping the core objectives as the basis.

When technology is used, no child must be deprived of access to education — if a child, for whatever reason, is unable to access through technology, the school should provide for ways in which the key learning objectives of that session/ module is accessible to the child.

Age appropriate approach — the duration and frequency of sessions suggested is based on what is suitable for different age groups and hence it has to be maintained at all times for any technology-based approach, when electronic or digital mode is used.

Curricular objectives have to be revised keeping the context in mind. The standard syllabus should not be transacted as is. Alternative academic syllabus, calendar and timetable has to be created by every school.

The focus has to be on developing active learning agents with skill sets such as ‘learning to learn’.

A blended approach should be followed with a mix of different modes. A singular type of approach, particularly a passive one-way mode in which children only listen to the teacher should be completely avoided for younger grades. The pedagogic approach has to be interactive — even asynchronous modules will have to provide for interactive activities that the children are encouraged to do; some passive sessions can be done for higher grades only.

Hybrid options should be adopted — collection of worksheets, activity sheets, hand-outs from the school to the parents should be planned so that children are provided with ample opportunities for hands-on activities. This mode should not be adopted where the infection risk level is high.

No child should be de-enrolled from schools for being unable to use any technology-based approach.

Special care should be taken to plan the access for children with special needs.

There should be no compromise in reaching out to the last child. Every child has to have an access to education.

Among other things, the committee has asked government to relaunch the televised classes and radio broadcast for students learning.

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