First publised on 2020-07-16 16:51:00
The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has drawn up guidelines for schools and teachers regarding online classes during the current closure of schools in the situation arising out of the pandemic. Although online classes are necessary as there is no surety when regular classes will resume given the rapid spread of coronavirus in most states, a balance has to be struck between the need to keep the learning process going and the need to consider health and other issues being faced by students.
NCERT has prescribed that there should not be more than one session of 30 minutes for students of the pre-primary stage, two sessions of up to 45 minutes each for students of classes 1 to 8 and four sessions of up to 45 minutes each for students of classes 9 to 12. This is sane advice as it needs to be kept in mind that the screen time for students will be double or more of that as they will have to complete the homework, if given, in the digital mode only. This is in line with the norms prescribed by the American Academy of Paediatrics. The government has also advised teachers not to rush to complete the syllabus and look for alternative ways of assessment.
The government was receiving a lot of complaints about schools conducting online classes of long durations. This, the parents said, was taking a toll on the health of children as they had little free time to play, engage in hobbies or do anything else which they liked. As long hours before a computer screen harms the eye and causes sleep issues and if the posture in sitting before a computer or laptop is not correct it leads to pain in the neck, the children were suffering. They have already become cranky due to staying indoors and not being permitted to meet or play with friends. Hence, the NCERT guidelines will provide some relief.
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