The High Court Of Karnataka Stays Government’s Ban On Online Classes For School Students From LKG To Class 10

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The High Court Of Karnataka Stays Government’s Ban On Online Classes For School Students From LKG To Class 10

-ASHIKA JAIN

The High Court of Karnataka on Wednesday stayed the part of the State Government orders dated June 15 and June 27 which had imposed a ban on the conduct of online classes for school students from LKG to Class 10.

“Prima facie we are of the view that both orders of June 15 and June 27, encroached upon the Fundamental Rights conferred by article 21 and 21A of the Constitution of India”, observed a division bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Srinivas Oka and Justice Nataraj Rangaswamy.

The prima facie view that State Government orders banning online classes intrude upon the Fundamental Rights of Life and Education conferred by Article 21 and 21A of the Constitution of India.

Government Passed the executive orders under Article 163 of the constitution which cannot impose restrictions on the Fundamental Rights under Article 21 and 21A.

The Court simply clarified that the authorities have no right to make online classes compulsory or make money from it by charging extra fees of online classes.

The Bench said that students who do not opt for online education should not suffer for their normal education by the schools whenever the schools are able to start their education.

“There cannot be any dispute that the academic term for this year has already commenced. The only way of providing education was by providing the facility of online coaching/ online training”, the bench added.

The Bench further added that the state is not able to extend online education to the certain category of schools is not a ground to hold that the so-called “elite schools” should not extend online classes and it is difficult for the Government to derive support from the opinion given by NIMHANS, Banglore.

The Court said that it would not interfere with recommendations of the committee of experts regarding the viability of online classes appointed by the Government on June 15.

The Government modified the order for students from lower KG to V Standard stating, online classes should be held for limited hours as followed by the guidelines of authorities.

The State said that the ban was only an interim measure until the government ensures that no student will suffer for education due to lack of access to the internet or any network issue which may cause further problems for students.

Statistics record given by the Government to the Court is as follows:-

In the state around 1.45 crore students are there from which 44 lakh students are enrolled in the government schools, around 13.60 lakh students are in private aided schools, and 45 lakh students are studying in private unaided schools. Among them, 58.61 lakh students are in Urban areas and 45.88 lakh students are in Rural areas.

Advocate General Prabhuling Navadgi defended government:

“It is the state’s endeavor to ensure that not a single student is deprived of education. If eight students are taking online classes and two are not, then they will be left out. These are all factors that need to be considered. The students between 0-6 years is a more delicate subject which needs to be dealt with not only from the point of view of education or fundamental rights but also child psychology. How Children are going to react to online classes?. Because kindergarten is not only about schooling but more about parenting. These are formative years, whatever we teach them today will lay the foundation of their personality”.

Petitioners stated that the government’s decision was violative of right to education of the students and they also raised the argument that the schools affiliated to CBSE/ICSE boards are not infeasible control of the government

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