Based on a report turned in by a committee of experts about four months ago, the Department of Education has come up with guidelines to be followed during the conduction of online classes. Taking into consideration the pros and cons of utilizing technology for prolonged hours and the kind of damage the same can bring upon the eyes of students, the said guidelines ensure that students do not sit in front of their computer screens or mobile phones for too long. Therefore a limit on study hours will be imposed and students will be divided on the basis of age groups.
The presence of parents or caregivers is absolutely necessary when classes are being taken for classes till second grade. If at all parents cannot make it to their children’s classes due to work or other engagements, then other adults will be allowed to go through the classes with the child with parental consent. For students from first to second grade, only four classes can be held at the maximum on a daily basis. Students who belong to the second standard and those below will have classes on alternate days, according to the guidelines. Whereas schools can conduct classes for a maximum of five days a week for students belonging to third grade and above.
Through the guidelines, the Department of Education has also suggested ways for conducting online classes for students from pre-primary through the tenth standard. Interactive classes have been considered important for the aforementioned grades. The department has stated that students belonging to pre-primary up till second grade should be taught through games, stories, rhymes, and curiosity-based activities. Meanwhile, teachers have been advised to teach the third to fifth standard students through 25 percent syllabus and 75 percent general subjects. Teachers are expected to cover 50 percent syllabus and general subjects for students belonging to classes six through eight while for students belonging to ninth and tenth grade, teachers are to focus on completing 75 percent syllabus and 25 percent general studies.
The guidelines were laid down keeping in mind the effects of excessive use of technology on the health of students. Since the onset of COVID-19 forced us into doing everything online, the media noted how due to certain schools taking classes online for prolonged periods of time has affected the health of students. Therefore, the guidelines have been enforced to ensure nothing of the sort happens. The timings for conducting online classes for different student groups are as given below
- Pre-school – 30 minutes – one period.
- First to fifth standard – 2 periods of 30 minutes each per day.
- 6th to 8th standards – 3 classes of 30 to 45 minutes each.
- 9th and 10th standard – four periods per day.