New Delhi: Children won’t have to sit for hours in front of the laptop or desktop for online learning, with the Modi government set to come up with an Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to end this practice.
ThePrint has learnt that the Ministry of Human Resource Development is working on guidelines for the way schools can impart digital education, with the measure coming after the ministry received complaints about schools running online classes like regular school, making children sit in front of electronic devices for seven to eight hours.
The guidelines are meant to solve the issues currently being faced by all stake-holders — teachers, parents and students.
School Education Secretary Anita Karwal spoke about the guidelines on Friday at the K12 virtual conference by Ashoka University, a conference discussing the future of schools in light of Covid-19 pandemic. “We are coming up with SOPs on digital education for schools,” Karwal said during her address.
Explaining the reason behind the guidelines, she said, “There has been an upsurge on this (digital education) and also an uproar on the way some schools are doing it… Some schools have simply replicated the time table and the child is sitting in front of the device for seven to eight hours.”
She added that there were concerns from the parents that some households have just one device and it can’t be given to all the children for classes. She further said that there were some unfortunate incidents as well during the online classes. While Karwal did not elaborate on the unfortunate incidents she referred to, there were reports from some states that teachers were being harassed by students during online classes.
All these concerns will be taken care of while formulating the guidelines. “The guidelines will be released only after the school safety guidelines,” Karwal added.
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Schools following their own digital pattern
There are no SOPs for digital learning in India. As a result of this, each school has been following its own pattern. While some schools are teaching their students through online platforms like Zoom and Google Meet, others are relying on WhatsApp.
The SOP for digital education is, however, likely to set a standard format for schools to follow, as schools will work on a blended learning model in the coming days. Blended learning is an approach to education that combines online learning along with face-to-face classroom teaching.
“Now there will be a lot of homeschooling, blended schooling, a bit of learning at homes and a bit in schools,” Karwal said during her address.
The HRD Ministry has also prepared safety guidelines for re-opening of schools, which include directions for schools to follow and ways to maintain physical-distancing in classrooms.
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