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Centre’s limit the screen time of online classes

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According to the Pragyata guidelines for digital education, now 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, released by the minister of Human Resource Development (MHRD). For Kindergarten, nursery and pre-school, only 30 mins screen time per day is recommended interacting with parents.

The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) prepared this guideline which is advisory in nature, and state government have been asked to build on them and formulate their own rules, based on local needs. Over 25 crore students across the country have been out of school since mid-march. The Pragyata guidelines acknowledge that these students live in households which fall into different categories: those who have 4G access with smartphones and computer, those with smartphones but with limited internet or no internet access, those with television with cable or DTH, those with radio set and basic mobile phone with FM radio, and those with no communication device at all.

The guidelines advise schools to first survey their own students before making decisions about the model of teaching. “ The goal is not to try and recreate face-to-face classrooms over the internet,”. It said. “ Schools should not assume that teaching-learning through synchronous communication is the only requirement or even desirable in order to support effective digital learning.” Synchronous or real-time communication could be the zoom classes that many private schools have begun. 

 “Children exposed to digital technologies or gadgets for a long time are prone to severe health issues,” the guidelines said. And Teachers are also instructed to make students aware of cyberbullying. Instant messaging groups/ emails involving parents to be used for sharing important information and resources. 

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