In this day and age, where the novel coronavirus has forced all of us to stay confined to our homes, online classes have become the way forward for students across the globe.
In June however, the Karnataka government had temporarily halted all online classes, telling schools to wait until an expert committee constituted by the government had submitted its suggestions regarding the viability of online classes. Later, this order was modified to allow limited classes for younger students, as per guidelines laid out by the authorities.
Now, the High Court of Karnataka has stayed the government order, calling it a violation of the Right to Education. A LiveLaw report quoted a bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Srinivas Oka and Justice Nataraj Rangaswamy to say that prima facie the HC was of the view that the government orders had "encroached upon the Fundamental Right conferred by Article 21 and 21A of the Constitution of India".
The HC however clarified that this stay does not grant schools and educational institutions the right to make online education mandatory. "Our order should not be construed to mean that students who do not opt for online education should be deprived of their normal education as and when the schools are able to start education", the bench said.
Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, as the academic year commenced, schools across the country have taken to conducting classes digitally, wherever possible.
The virus had hit even as students gave their year end exams, and while there has been debate about whether exams should be cancelled outright, or conducted at a later date, most boards have scrapped the final exam. Some have left an option for students to perhaps give specific papers at a later date.