Srinagar: A delegation of Jammu Kashmir Education Council (JKEC) met the Director School Education Kashmir (DSEK) and submitted a report compiled by a panel regarding appropriate screen time for students and best practice of online education for students.
“The DSEK patiently heard the points raised by the delegation. He said that the report will be studied and all the issues will be addressed keeping in view the best interests of students. The JKEC thanked the DSEK for his support and taking several initiative to help the career of students. They assured the DSEK that all the private schools would abide by the rules and regulations”, a statement issued by the council said.
Ziraat Times here produces the full text of the statement issued by the Council:
After the recent government order on curbing screen time JKEC had constituted a panel to get feedback from industry experts and stakeholder regarding the issue. JKEC is of the opinion that any policy change regarding education is a sensitive issue and it should be undertaken after taking on board all stakeholders, educationists and experts. In this regard the panel held an online Consultative Workshop with experts and stakeholders, who gave their suggestions regarding the same. There was a consensus that online education is the best tool for education children during these times of pandemic. The report recommends that decision on the timings of online classes should be taken by the schools and teachers who actually know about the strategies and methodologies to be adopted while delivering lessons online or offline.
The abridged version of the report is as follows
Background: In Jammu and Kashmir, more than 13 lakh students are confined to their homes as a result of the pandemic. As a result, education has changed dramatically and drastically, with the distinctive rise of e-learning, whereby teaching is undertaken remotely and on digital platforms. For those who have access to the right technology, there is evidence that learning online can be more effective in a number of ways. Some research shows that on average, students retain 25-60% more material when learning online compared to only 8-10% in a classroom. This is mostly due to the students being able to learn faster online; e-learning requires 40-60% less time to learn than in a traditional classroom setting because students can learn at their own pace, going back and re-reading, skipping, or accelerating through concepts as they choose.
What National level Survey Reveals: In a survey conducted by HANS INDIA on spending screen time during online classes, 69% of parents said they were in favouring of extending timings. The survey was conducted after MHRD (now Ministry of Education) last year issued guidelines regarding screen timing of online classes. In response 29% parents were ok with the Government’s proposal while 18% said the daily limit should be 5 hours for students of classes 9-12, for Classes 6-8 at 4 hours, Classes 1-5 at 3 hours and Pre-Primary at 1 hour. 31% said the daily limit should be Classes 9-12 at 4 hours, Classes 6-8 at 3 hours, Classes 1-5 at 2 hours and Pre-Primary at 1 hour, and 7% said the daily limit for classes 9-12 should be at 3 hours, Classes 6-8 at 2.5 hours, Classes 1-5 at 2 hours, Pre-Primary at 1 hour. 13% said the daily limit should be Classes 9-12 at 3 hours, Classes 6-8 at 2.5 hours, Classes 1-5 at 2 hours, Pre-Primary at 1 hour. 13% said the daily limit should be Classes 9-12 at 3 hours, Classes 6-8 at 2.5 hours, Classes 1-5 at 1.5 hours, Pre-Primary at 30 minutes. (Pertinent to note is that the MHRD’s guidelines are not mandatory rules that schools must follow.
They are an acknowledgement of the fact that excessive screen time can have a negative effect on students, and serve as a call for students, teachers and parents to develop a clear understanding of what the limits should be).
The National Board of Professional Teaching Standard addressed this topic last year. According to their recommendation, the number of hours students should invest in learning online depends on their age and grade level. Here is the recommended time schedule NBPTS has given:GradeTime to Spend Learning Online Elementary School – Grades 1 to 41 – 2 hours daily Middle School – Grades 5 to 82 – 3 hours daily High School – Grades 9 to 123 – 4 hours daily These recommendations have a lot of sense with what happens in real life. The number of online learning hours increases as students progress to higher grades and engage with more complex learning material.
The panelists made the following recommendations:According to Dr Hyder, an eminent educationist and academician, presently teaching Artificial Intelligence in University of Indonesia, international curriculums have research-based work and various components that help children develop their understanding through case studies. For teaching models like these, online learning is a good fit.
“The Indian curriculum is more offline-based. Educators have an added responsibility to make it
interactive, using all three learning styles—auditory, visual and kinesthetic—in delivering the digital curriculum” says Dr Hyder. “Giving students the chance to review important concepts in advance helps them to develop a better understanding during online classes,” he adds. Dr Hyder suggested that the conversation about time duration needs to be shifted to how one can use synchronous and asynchronous methods to engage students online where the student stays with teachers throughout the day in a project based (asynchronous) manner and most time is spent in differentiated and individual project work in presence of the teacher through any virtual medium. The contact time with teacher stays limited to healthy screen duration. He laid emphasis on the emotional well being of children and said that this can be achieved only when sufficient time is given to the online classes.
“This is a great time for Education Department/ Government to optimise the syllabus to teach more relevant topics, keep classes smarter and skip the fluff”, says Dr Mehnaz Rehman, Principal of City Montessori School Luknow.
Dr Mehnaz said that we are lagging behind the western countries because we lack the methods of learning by doing. She suggested that there should be at least one hour activity class for children of pre-primary and basic grades. She also suggested that the department of Education should come up with an alternative academic calendar for activities.
Prof. C L Vishan said that Government of J&K only was moved by the viral video of a small kid while as there was no reaction or response to this in the rest of the country. He said that while taking decisions and framing policies in Education system, all stakeholders should be consulted in advance. Stressing the need of developing a habit to “sit down and study” through online classes,
Prof Vishan said that this is the right age where children need to be provided all round development. And understanding of hard work. He opined that learning should be made fun by using the latest technology available with us.
Prof Hameed Naseem Rafiabadi was of the opinion that there should be no experimenting in Education and all stakeholders should be consulted before taking any such decision. Dr Roy Anderson was of the opinion that decision on the timing of online classes should be taken by schools and not by administrators.
Dr Armaan Bhupendra Chourasya, Sr. faculty at All India Institute of Medical Sciences New Delhi is of the opinion that online mode of study is very important especially during the pandemic situation. “This is the only way, students can connect with the school and being a Doctor, I’m suggesting that for an average student, 2 to 4 hours of online education through laptop or mobile phone is totally fine”, says Dr Armaan.
Rachna Bhimrajka, an Eminent Educator from Mumbai, working in the field of quality education for more than a decade, believes that 80% of the brain development happens in the initial years of 0-6 years and as such online education in current scenario is a must where we should focus on reading, writing and foundational numeracy for their overall growth and mental development.
Dr Shabnam, an eminent Ophthalmologist from Jammu and Kashmir is of the opinion that care needs to be taken for a proper posture and adequate illumination. For 20 minutes of near work, we should take 20 seconds break and stay 20 feet away. (20-20-20 Rule)
Dr. Altaf Anjum, a parent from Srinagar is of the opinion that restricting online classes without understanding the effect on learning continuity will have an adverse impact on students’ development in the long term.
Another parent, Mr Mohammad Shafi suggests that policymakers must recognise that productive screen time is not only desirable but is necessary in present times.
Abdul Rehman, father of two kids studying in 3rd and 6th grades says that there would be a potential loss if learning were to remain interrupted for months in the current circumstances. People are often casual about the need for learning and think that children can go without classes for some time. While screen time such as gaming or violent television is not healthy, online classes cannot be considered as bad screen time. It has to be seen as mentoring and teaching. Without 3-4 hours of instruction in the senior classes, children will not be able to handle independent tasks since they are not in the habit of doing so.
One more parent, Dr Ashiq Hussain is of the opinion that it is important to make a distinction between good and bad screen time. Putting restrictions on timings without analysing the effect on learning continuity will have an adverse impact on student development. He says that there are several myths around online learning that need to be busted.Most of the parents have concerns about completion of syllabus. Schools need to have a minimum of 200 working days for classes one to five and 220 working days for upper primary classes in an academic year, as mandated by Section 19 of the Right to Education Act, 2009.
Panelists1. Prof Roy Anderson, Eminent Educationist and author of more than two dozen books on Education. 2. Dr Rachna Bhimrajka, Eminent Educationist from Mumbai and CEO Fun 2 Learn, World Book of Record London Holder. 3. Prof. Hyder, Eminent Educationist, author and academician, teaching Artificial Intelligence at the University of Indonesia.4. Dr. Shabnam, Eminent Opthamologist from Jammu and Kashmir.5. Prof. Hamid Naseem Rafiabadi, Dean School of Social Sciences, Central University of Kashmir.6. Dr Armaan Bhupendra Chourasya, Sr. Faculty at AIIMS New Delhi.7. Dr. Mehnaz Rehman, Principal City Montessori School Luknow8. Prof. C.L.Vishan, former HOD Education, University of Kashmir 9. Dr. Altaf Anjum, Asstt Prof. University of Kashmir10. Dr Kanchan Negi, Eminent Teacher Trainer and specialist of Pedagogy, Dehradhoon.11. Mr G.N.Var Chairman Private Schools’ Association JK 12. Mr G.N.Shakir, Academician and former Officer on Special Duty School Education.13. Prof Firdous, Asstt Proffesor, Central University of Kashmir.13. Ms Lopa Shah, Director Dolphin International School Kashmir.