BENGALURU: The Karnataka High Court on Monday asked the State government to find a solution to the situation arising from the ban on online classes in the State.A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Nataraj Rangaswamy issued this direction after hearing a public interest litigation petition filed by Anumitha Sharma and several others. The petitioners have challenged the ban from LKG to class 5 in the State.The registry was directed to club this petition with two other petitions filed by educational institutions challenging the ban.
In the notice issued on June 11, the State government had directed that schools (including private unaided and schools affiliated to CBSE and ICSE) cannot provide online education for students up to Class 5, and if they are doing so to immediately cease such online classes.
During the hearing, the court observed that if regular classes cannot be conducted, whether it will mean denying the children right to education in view of Article 21-A of the Constitution. “Can’t the online classes be permitted for a few hours? Some solution has to be found out. Online is limited to cities, what about rural areas?” the bench asked the government.
The counsel of one of the petitioners argued that online classes for up to Class 5 is unconstitutional.
No guidelines are framed for Class 6 and above. “In April, the State government allowed online classes, but in June it suddenly banned it. The schools had made many arrangements and now all that is undone,“ he said.
Views of parents extracted from the petition
In view of the rapidly increasing Covid-19 cases in the country, it may be impossible to resume regular classes in schools in the near future. Online teaching will remain the only option for continuing education and overall development of children
As students are left with no means of access to education due to the pandemic, education has come to a standstill, with no resumption in sight, infringing on their fundamental right