Parents and students can reach out to the commission for any possible violations of rules: K. Nazeer, panel member
Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights will keep a close tab on the concerns and issues faced by the students in the second consecutive academic year based on online mode of learning amidst the pandemic crisis.
The commission had acted on complaints ranging from extended online sessions to fee issues in the previous academic year. It had also asked the school authorities to provide improved focus on differently abled children besides ensuring supply of food grains to all the students eligible for mid-day meal scheme.
“Parents and students can reach out to the commission for any possible violations of rules emerging in the new academic year. On the timings of the online sessions, the schools can follow the Pragyata guidelines for digital education released by the Ministry of Human Resource Development,” pointed out K. Nazeer, member of the commission.
Schools can hold live online classes for a maximum of 1.5 hours per day for Classes 1-8, and three hours per day for Classes 9-12, according to the guidelines. For kindergarten, nursery and pre-school, only 30 minutes of screen time per day for interacting with parents is recommended. The Centre had stated that the guidelines were advisory in nature and State governments can build on them and formulate their own rules.
On the need to reduce the fees in view of the pandemic situation, Mr. Nazeer recalled that the Supreme Court had already pointed out that the schools can collect annual tuition fees after giving a deduction of 15% towards the savings made on account of overheads and operational costs. “Already, many schools in the State have reduced the fee by 25%,” he said.
Mr. Nazeer said that arrangements should be made to provide recorded sessions of the live online classes as many students continue to face internet connectivity issues and uninterrupted access owing to power disruptions and other technical glitches. “The online sessions need to be held division-wise instead of including all students of a standard in a single session as it would deprive them a chance to interact with the teachers,” he said.
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