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Govt intentions bona fide in banning online classes: Education Minister Suresh Kumar

As the Karnataka Government has banned online classes for students up to fifth standard, there have been voices supporting and opposing the move.

Published: 14th June 2020 06:53 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th June 2020 06:53 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

BENGALURU: As the Karnataka Government has banned online classes for students up to fifth standard, there have been voices supporting and opposing the move. Primary and Secondary Education Minister Suresh Kumar clears the air in this exclusive, exhaustive interview with The New Sunday Express.

Online sessions for primary classes (first to fifth standard) have started in Bengaluru. Many parents have subscribed to internet connections and have bought laptops and other devices for these sessions. But online classes are banned now... Parents ask whether this order would not put students from the state at a disadvantage. Schools too say that they have invested on training teachers and building platforms, but all that is going waste now...

The decision was taken after a public outcry against online classes for small children. Even NIMHANS has given an opinion against it. The decision was taken considering the overall wellbeing of our children and society. Government’s intentions are bona fide and we are exploring all scenarios where our students are best informed. We need to understand the divide between India and Bharat, rural and urban areas, and haves and have-nots while taking policy decisions.

You had taken an initiative in collaboration with the health department to hold PU and SSLC exams. Can you not use similar measures to hold regular classes for students?
Regular classes are not the priority now, though there is no alternative to it. At present, our focus is on holding incident-free SSLC exams. Measures for fair and effective education for our children of all classes will unfold in the future. We are seeking the opinion of parents on opening of schools and steps needed to be taken.
 
What happened to the initiative of tying up with Doordarshan to offer regular classes for students?
Our experiment to have one-month revision classes for SSLC students through Chandana channel (state-run) is a great success. We have submitted a proposal to the Central Government for dedicated Doordarshan channels. The recording sessions by our expert teachers have already started in our studios. We are setting up state-of-the-art studios in select districts. We have requested Union ministers Pralhad Joshi and Sadananda Gowda to help us in getting the proposal passed at the central government level.

Many private schools have started online sessions and are continuing despite the government statement.
This will be stopped. I have instructed officers to keep an eye on such sessions. Private schools should understand that the government’s concerns are in the best interest of our children.  

Parents have requested you on social media not to stop online classes because children will waste time otherwise. One parent has requested you not to jeopardise the future of children by cancelling education services.  
There are different opinions. But majority say that online classes for young children is a concern. We have constituted a committee to look into these issues comprehensively. Finally, a decision in the best interest of students will be taken.

Have you had sufficient interactions with parents, schools and experts before taking the decision?
People from all quarters were consulted. The committee formed to create a roadmap has people from all sections. Their voices will be represented in the policy to be framed soon.

Some parents have spoken of home schooling because of the pandemic. Is that an option?
This dire situation has taught us to think about the possibilities which we never thought of  earlier. Policies have to be framed afresh as there has been no precedent. Option of home schooling is more an urban-centric concept, which will also be viewed holistically.  

When Telangana and Tamil Nadu cancelled board exams for  the tenth standard, the same was expected in Karnataka.
The scenario in Telangana and Tamil Nadu is quite different from Karnataka. Our High Court has clearly ruled in favour of conducting the examination and we have taken the decision in the interest of 
our students



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  • shivarao

    Do not conclude( as a base /proof for reopening) reopening of school & colleges based on conducting SSLC exams. It is just few days exam .So unrelated .
    1 year ago reply
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