NEW DELHI: Releasing the “Pragyata” guidelines for
the Union HRD ministry
recommended a cap on
and their durations for different levels of school students.
The guidelines recommended that the duration for online classes for pre-primary students should not be for more than 30 minutes, for classes I to VIII, two online sessions of up to 45 minutes each are suggested and for classes IX to XII, four sessions of 30-45 minutes durations have been recommended.
The ministry framed the guidelines following concerns being raised by parents on schools conducting online classes like regular schools thereby increasing children’s exposure to digital screens manifold since the closure of schools from March 16, 2020 after the Covid-19 outbreak. They were released by
the ministry of human resource development
on Tuesday to help schools remodel their ways of teaching.
The guidelines highlighted that “it is important to have presentations which are easily readable, slides must follow certain rules like not more than five bullet points, maximise use of infographics, graphs, charts, avoid tables as much as possible”.
Stating that Covid-19
has led to secure disruptions in normal life, including closure of schools impacting over 240 million children of the country, it said that schools will have to introduce a suitable method of delivering quality education through a healthy mix of schooling at home and school as extended school closures may cause loss of learning. The guidelines have been developed from the perspective of learners, with a focus on online, blended, digital education for students who are presently at home due to the lockdown.
The guidelines also made specific recommendations based on the accessibility of digital resources across households – right from those with access to 4G connections with laptop,
and TV to those with no digital device.
Noting that in a country like India characterised by multifarious diversity, switching over to digital modes of education needs various states, UTs and national-level organisations to join hands for a change that will sustain post-Covid-19 also.
The guidelines include eight steps of online or digital learning – plan, review, arrange, guide, talk, assign, track and appreciate. These steps guide the planning and implementation of digital education step by step with examples.
Need of assessment, concerns while planning online and digital education like duration, screen time, inclusiveness, balanced online and offline activities, level-wise modalities of intervention, including resource curation, level-wise delivery; physical, mental health and well-being during digital education, cyber safety and ethical practices, including precautions and measures for maintaining cyber safety and collaboration, and convergence with various initiatives are among the various issues addressed by guidelines for administrators, school heads, teachers, parents and students.
"These guidelines for school heads and teachers describe the need assessment, planning and steps to implement digital education while ensuring cyber safety and privacy measures. It also outlines the support to be provided to students with special needs. Main emphasis is on balanced online and offline activities keeping the screen time as an essential parameter in accordance with the level of students,” said a senior HRD ministry official.