HRD announces guidelines for online classes by schools: All you need to know | India News

NEW DELHI: The HRD Ministry on Tuesday announced guidelines for online classes by schools and recommended a cap on the duration and the number of sessions in a day for students.
The guidelines have been framed by the ministry, following concerns raised by parents about schools conducting online classes like regular schools, which has increased children’s screen time after the Covid-19 pandemic mandated a shift from classroom teaching to online learning as schools continue to remain shut for over four months.
Here is a look at what the new guidelines say —

  • In the guideline called “Pragyata”, the ministry of human resource development (MHRD) 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, two online sessions of up to 45 minutes each while for classes 9 to 12, four sessions of 30-45 minutes duration have been recommended.
  • The guidelines include eight steps of online or digital learning — plan, review, arrange, guide, talk, assign, track and appreciate.
  • These steps guide the planning and implementation of digital education step-by-step with examples.
  • The guidelines also emphasised on the need to unify all efforts related to digital or on-air education, benefitting schoolchildren across the country.
  • The Covid-19 pandemic has led to the 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.
  • The schools will also need to introduce a suitable method of delivering quality education through a healthy mix of schooling at home and schooling at school.
  • The new 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.
  • Need of assessment, concerns while planning online and digital education like duration, screen time, inclusiveness, balanced online and offline activities, level-wise modalities of intervention, including resource curation, level-wise delivery have all been incorporated into the new structure.
  • Physical, mental health and wellbeing during digital education, cyber safety and ethical practices, including precautions and measures for maintaining cyber safety and collaboration, and convergence with various initiatives are among the various issues addressed by guidelines.
  • It also outlines the support to be provided to students with special needs.
  • The main emphasis is on balanced online and offline activities keeping the screen time as an essential parameter in accordance with the level of students
  • Guidelines for physical health and mental wellness is stressed across the guidelines for all stakeholders measures so that children do not get overly stretched or stressed, or get affected negatively (postural defects, ophthalmic issues, and other physical problems) owing to prolonged use of digital devices.
  • The guidelines also provide sufficient dos and don’ts regarding ergonomics and cyber safety.
  • Noting that in a country like India characterised by multifarious diversity, switching over to digital modes of education needs various states, union territories and national-level organisations to join hands for a change that will sustain post-Covid-19 also.

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