Classes to be conducted only between 8.30 a.m. and 1.30 p.m., among other guidelines
The Education Ministry is set to enforce strict guidelines for online education in view of complaints regarding the current online educational system for students, a senior Education Ministry official said. Prof. Kapila Perera said the guidelines have been prepared and handed over to the unit on Education Quality Development, to finalise the guidelines which will apply to teachers and parents as well. He said there were number of written and verbal complaints about the misuse of the online education system.
Among the complaints was that some of the students were forming social media groups and engaging in chats, private discussions and thereby spending time beyond the time of the classes. Prof. Perera said an analysis of the complaints show that were also other issues in operating such systems. According to the guidelines, online educational programmes should be conducted between 8.30 a.m. to 1.30 p.m and no classes should be conducted beyond that. The responsibility would be on teachers not to conduct classes beyond the given time.
He said the Ministry also hoped to obtain the support of the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission to introduce safety precautions. He said parents also have a responsibility in monitoring online classes. “The parents can give their smart phones for use only when the classes are on. They should check if the students are following the classes. They can also monitor the phone. The students should not be allowed to use phones at any time,” he said. Meanwhile the Education Ministry official said one of the concerns of parents was that some of the children were getting addicted to online games. The Education Ministry introduced the online education system because schools had to be closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.