Karnataka bans online classes for children from KG to Class 5

Collecting fees in the name of online classes should be stopped immediately, said the education minister

The Karnataka government on Wednesday decided to stop live online classes conducted by schools across the state for students up to fifth standard and prohibits the schools from charging extra fees for online classes.

There were complaints that some private schools in Bengaluru charged students extra fees for online classes apart from the monthly tuition fees.

The State education ministry has announced, "Online classes shall not be conducted for pre-primary (LKG, UKG) and primary classes (upto Class 5) henceforth. Such classes will not substitute classroom teaching and might affect the students' age and mental well-being."

The private schools will not be allowed to charge fees for the online teaching.

However, pre-recorded classes shall be conducted.
Parvathy Mahesh's son, Arun is in class IV and she was dismayed with the school charging exorbitant fees for online classes.

"I am with the government on this. Moreover, my son used to sit before the system since morning. This is not good for their health."
Meanwhile, live online classes will be allowed to continue for secondary classes.

Earlier, a report submitted by National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) had pointed out that such virtual classes were not ideal for students below the age of six years.

The experts at the mental health institute claimed that it was not appropriate for children up to the age of 6 years to have more than an hour of screen time daily.
Responding to criticism from experts that online classes would not be feasible for all students across the state, due to financial constraints and infrastructural challenges education minister Suresh Kumar said, "It is also important to ensure the gap between 'haves' and 'have-nots' does not increase."

According to officials of the education department, the Karnataka Department of Public Instruction will issue detailed guidelines for the same soon.

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