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Karnataka high court online education

Karnataka High Court pulls up government for online education ban

June 29, 2020

For the second time, the Karnataka High Court pulled up the state government for its ban on online education from kindergarten to class V, despite the government’s hasty attempt at producing a modified order dated June 26 permitting limited online learning. Hearing a batch of petitions against the ban on June 19, a division bench of the High Court lead by Chief Justice of Karnataka Abhay Shreeniwas Oka had asked the State to consider permitting classes while the expert committee deliberates on producing guidelines. In response, the government brought out a modified order dated June 26 that “lifted/modified” the earlier order, permitting schools to conduct online classes, provided they limit the hours as directed.

    1. Pre-primary: classes once a week only with parent presence for max 30 mins
    2. Grades I to V: 2 periods of synchronous method each not exceeding 30-45 minutes on alternate days- weekly 3 days 
    3. Grades VI to VIII: 2 periods of synchronous method each not exceeding 30-45 minutes; 5 days a week
    4. Grades IX to X: 4 periods of synchronous method each not exceeding 30-45 minutes; 5 days a week

Once again, on June 29, the Chief Justice Oka called out the Karnataka government for its ill-considered decision, and for working “backwards” by stopping online education first (when neither the committee or the government had found nothing onerous about online teaching) and then establishing a committee to formulate guidelines.  The court asked the government to let online learning continue until the committee issues its final recommendations while making it optional for pre-primary students with parents deciding if they would like to pursue it. The court granted permission to the petitioners to amend their petition so as to include a challenge to the modified government order as well.  The matter will now be heard on July 2, 2020.

Read: Karnataka government permits online classes

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