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Is online teaching essential for kids? HC asks Gujarat govt to consider

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The Gujarat High Court has directed the state government to consider whether online teaching should be imparted to children studying in nursery, kindergarten, and junior classes, as long time exposure to television or laptop screen affects their health.

The division bench of Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice JB Pardiwala posed this question to the Gujarat government during the hearing of a batch of petitions concerning the COVID-19 outbreak in Gujarat and its impact.

The court said long-time exposure of children to television or laptop screens will not only affect their eyes, but also their overall health. It added that experts are of the view that children below five years of age should not be imparted online education.

The bench has also asked the Gujarat government to intervene on the issue of online teaching rendered by schools in Ahmedabad and work out on the modalities regarding the same. The court also asked the government to look into the timings of the online classes.

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Exemplifying one of the issues, the court said, if a middle-class family has three children studying in different classes, then all of them will not be able to utilise the computer at the same time. The court said it was a very common problem and the state government must look into it in the larger interest of the students.

The court has now posted the matter for further hearing on July 17.

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