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COVID-19: Union HRD Ministry releases guidelines for online education

Screen time of students in grades 9-12 should be capped to a maximum of three hours a day, the HRD Ministry said in a set of guidelines for online teaching it released on Tuesday for schools. The Ministry acknowledged that different areas in the country might need different strategies for online education depending on that region’s access to the digital infrastructure. The guidelines come more than three months after schools and colleges in the country were shutdown as a precautionary measure to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. “These guidelines are advisory in nature and have been prepared by [the] NCERT,” the Ministry said. Acknowledging that both digital infrastructure and privilege to access an open internet might vary for different states and UTs, the Ministry said that a “decentralised planning and implementation is advisable for the digital education system to work, keeping in view the ground realities of each State and Union Territory”. The entire region of Jammu and Kashmir, for instance, has been deprived of access to an open internet at acceptable speeds for nearly a year now. https://twitter.com/DrRPNishank/status/1282977791370092544 Guidelines from the Ministry Two different modes of online learning on the basis of access to digital infrastructure: The report divided Indian households in six categories on the basis of availability of digital infrastructure: Households with computers/mobile phones who have access to 4G internet and also to a TV with DTH or cable connection Households with a smartphone with access to 4G connectivity Households with a smartphone but with limited (2G/3G), or…

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