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Digital candle light march held over ban on online classes

July 2, 2020

Parents, teachers and educators from Karnataka participated in a digital candle light march, on Wednesday, July 1, 2020 over the ban of online classes for children. The online protest was held to request the government of Karnataka to revoke the ban on virtual education and remove the arbitrary guidelines. Supporters from Maharashtra also participated and tweeted pictures as there is a blanket ban on online education till Class 2 in the state.

All the supporters joined a video conference call on Zoom app, changed their profile picture to the protest banner and renamed their Zoom account to #RightToLearn_Name. They also held candles to show their support.

Francis Joseph, co-founder of School Leaders Network (SLN) tweeted, “Participated in a silent digital candle light march #righttolearn to save education, organised by our Karnataka parents and teachers. No abuses-only solutions and concerns. All have hope in the system.”

Over 500 parents came together for the march and in a statement, they said, “Parents, who are protesting, believe that it is an attempt by the government to try to restart schools at the earliest. As COVID-19 numbers continue to rise, several parents won’t be comfortable sending children to school even if the government reopens them. So, children need an alternative option to learn. In the current unprecedented circumstances, the best option is live online classes. After all, the children of Karnataka also have a #righttolearn.”

The statement further added, “This is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and multiple approaches have to be explored and encouraged by the government to ensure that the constitutionally guaranteed right to education is not denied for children in Karnataka.”

A parent on request of anonymity told FPJ, “Just like Karnataka, the Maharashtra government has banned online education for students till Class 2. Our kids should not be restricted in any way and should have the freedom to learn through various mediums, structures and available systems. We hope the government revokes the ban and initiates some measures to avoid academic loss of children.”

Earlier, parents from Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Madhya Pradesh joined forces on Twitter to protest the ban imposed on online schooling for pre-primary and primary classes saying that it curtails their freedom to choose the way they want to educate their children. Many educators also called for better guidelines and warned that a complete ban on online schooling will result in children missing out on social, psychological, academic and cognitive learning opportunities that are crucial for their age.

Source: Free Press Journal & The Hindu

Also read: #RightToLearn: Parents appeal to governments to revoke ban on online learning

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