Paradoxically, Covid-19 has not only necessitated syllabus cut amid shortened instructional hours, but also justified effecting across the board cuts in screen time of students who now have to reconcile themselves to a blend of homeschooling and online classes as classroom instruction is still a distant dream. The HRD Ministry on Tuesday announced guidelines for online classes by schools and recommended a cap on duration and the number of sessions in a day for students.
This follows concerns raised by parents that online classes have increased children’s screen time. As per the guidelines titled ‘Pragyata’, the Ministry has recommended that the duration for online classes for pre-primary students should not be for more than 30 minutes. For Classes 1 to 8, the limit is two online sessions of up to 45 minutes each; while for Classes 9 to 12, it is four sessions of 30-45 minutes’ duration each “The COVID-19 pandemic has led to closure of schools and has impacted over 240 million children of the country who are enrolled in schools. Extended school closures may cause loss of learning.
To mitigate the impact of the pandemic, schools will not only have to remodel and reimagine the way teaching and learning have happened so far, but will also need to introduce a suitable method of delivering quality education through a healthy mix of schooling at home and schooling at school,” HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank said. “The guidelines have been developed from the perspective of learners, with a focus on online, blended, digital education for students who are presently at home due to the lockdown. These guidelines on digital education provide a roadmap or pointers for carrying forward online education to enhance the quality of education,” Nishank added.