Udayavni Special

‘Online classes cannot inspire young minds’

Team Udayavani, Jun 2, 2020, 8:43 AM IST

Bengaluru: Eminent scientist Prof. C N R Rao on Monday spoke out against introducing online classes for children in view of the COVID-19-induced close-down of schools, underlining the importance of human interface for good communication and inspiring young minds.

He made no secret of his displeasure over easing of a slew of restrictions under new guidelines ”Unlock 1.0”, indicating that these steps may have come too early.

“I have no doubt that the eventual solution will be a vaccine (for COVID-19). I feel that (it) may be available early in 2021”, Prof. Rao, the Honorary President of the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, told PTI in an interview.

His main worry is about relaxing most of the restrictions in “such a hurry (after lockdowns 3 and 4)”.

“We have to rethink issues, take urgent steps to minimise the spread (of the coronavirus), the National Research Professor stressed. Most of all, he is shocked by the indiscipline of even “educated people” in the fight against the COVID-19.

“We must realise that we are basically not disciplined. See people in Sweden. They practice social distancing without anyone to force it”, Prof Rao, who was awarded ”Bharat Ratna” in 2014, pointed out.

“We should have prepared better in handling the migrant problems. We need to show more human concern and empathy”, Prof. Rao, who was Director of the Indian Institute of Science from 1984 to 1994, said referring to their exodus to home states in challenging times in the wake of the pandemic.

The Linus Pauling Research Professor said online classes for young children such as KG, first and second grade should be terminated.

“I am not an enthusiast about on-line teaching. We need human interface with students for good communication. That is how young minds can be inspired”, said Prof. Rao, who was Chairman of the Science Advisory Council to the Prime Minister from 1985-1989, and from 2004-2014.

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