Bengaluru, Jun 10, 2020: Amid complaints about conduct of virtual classes, the Karnataka government on Wednesday decided to stop online classes for children from Kindergarten (KG) to class 5. "Two decisions have been taken-online classes for LKG, UKG and primary classes should be stopped immediately. Also, collecting fees in the name of online classes should be stopped immediately," Primary and Secondary Education Minister S Suresh Kumar told reporters here.
He said, several complaints have been received regarding online classes, and he held discussions with experts, a body of private educational institutions and officials in this regard, and everyone was of the opinion that online classes cannot be an alternative to physical classes.
Discussions were also held on how to engage children during this period, with no clarity over the reopening of schools, he said.
A committee has been constituted under the leadership of Prof M K Sridhar to prepare guidelines on how to engage students and increase their knowledge, the minister said.
There has been pressure on the government to act, as parents have been complaining about online classes conducted by private schools even for kindergarten kids.
Further stating that the government had already issued a circular asking educational institutions not to hike fees on humanitarian grounds considering financial constraints of several people due to the COVID-19 pandemic-induced lockdown, Mr Kumar said, if schools decide to reduce the fees amount, it will be a "very welcome move."
He noted that from June 25 SSLC (Class 10) exams were starting.
Before taking the decision he had consulted people from all walks of life, experts, representatives of political parties, the minister said.
"From June 25 to July 4, the exams will be held and safety of children is our utmost priority and we are taking all necessary steps in this regard.
Preparations for the exams are on in all districts, micro-level planning is being done," he said, adding that Health, Transport and Home Departments have joined hands with Education department in this regard.