Karnataka Education Minister Suresh Kumar made the announcement at a press conference on Wednesday, banning live virtual classes for students of primary classes. Some schools that are conducting online classes for secondary classes from 4 to 7 can continue. The decision was taken citing mental kids' well-being.
"The screen time for certain classes and what will be appropriate will be discussed later. For now, we have made this decision for LKG, UKG and primary classes, considering their age and mental well-being," the minister told the media.
The minister also stated that fees for online classes for primary students should be halted with immediate effect.
Reasoning and criticism
Karnataka state government's decision comes shortly after WHO's recommendation that kids under 6 years of age should not spend more than one hour of screen time. Experts from NIMHANS had also warned against holding virtual classes for students up to Class 3.
The decision to ban online classes has received a lot of criticism from across the country. The News Minute pointed out that people have access to a laptop or computer as well as steady internet to attend online classes. The academics of 2020 took a major hit from nationwide lockdown, which was imposed in late-March. Since then, all schools and colleges have remained shut, but some educational institutions have started online classes recently to make up for lost time.