Focus: GS-II Social Justice
Why in news?
Union Minister for HRD virtually launched India Report on Digital Education, 2020.
India Report on Digital Education, 2020
- The report elaborates on the innovative methods adopted by Ministry of HRD, Education Departments of States and Union Territories for ensuring accessible and inclusive education to children at home and reducing learning gaps.
- This report gives a better understanding of the various initiatives taken to facilitate remote learning and education for all by taking schools to the students.
- The quality digital education has acquired a new urgency in the present context of globalization, and the pandemic as well.
- Ministry of Human Resource Development has initiated many projects to assist teachers, scholars and students in their pursuit of learning like DIKSHA platform, Swayam Prabha TV Channel, Online MOOC courses, On Air – Shiksha Vani, DAISY by NIOS for differently-abled, e-PathShala, National Repository of Open Educational Resources (NROER) to develop e-content and energized books, telecast through TV channels, E-learning portals , webinars, chat groups, distribution of books and other digital initiatives along with State/ UT Governments.
- Some of the major medium to connect to the students were using social media tools like WhatsApp Group for all the classes, Online classes through YouTube channel, Google meet, Skype etc., E-learning portal, TV (Doordarshan & regional channels), Radio (AIR), use of Diksha was most prominent choice of all the stakeholders.
- Some states have launched innovative mobile apps and portals as means to facilitate remote learning.
- Many states have had to be creative with low tech forms of teaching and instruction delivery with low or nil requirements of the internet. For instance- In Arunachal Pradesh, primary class students are receiving interesting Radio talks in their mother tongue through All India Radio.
- Andhra Pradesh has started Toll Free Call Centre and Toll Free Video call centre for students for understanding critical topics and clearing their doubts.
- Due to poor mobile connectivity and unavailability of internet services, Chhattisgarh has started Motor iskool.
- Some of the major digital initiatives by State Governments are SMILE (Social Media Interface for Learning Engagement) in Rajasthan, Project Home Classes in Jammu, Padhai Tunhar duvaar (Education at your doorstep) in Chhattisgarh, Unnayan Initiatives in Bihar through portal and mobile application, Mission Buniyaad in NCT of Delhi, Kerala’s own educational TV channel (Hi-Tech school programme), E-scholar portal as well as free online courses for teachers in Meghalaya.
Major Initiatives under National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NMEICT)
- SWAYAM: The Study Webs of Active Learning for Young Aspiring Minds’ (SWAYAM) is an integrated platform for offering online courses, covering school (9th to 12th) to Postgraduate Level. The online courses are being used not only by the students but also by the teachers and non-student learners, in the form of lifelong learning.
- SWAYAM Prabha: It is an initiative to provide 32 High Quality Educational Channels through DTH (Direct to Home) across the length and breadth of the country on a 24X7 basis.
- National Digital Library of India (NDL): It is a project to develop a framework of virtual repository of learning resources with a single-window search facility. Presently, there are more than 3 crore digital resources available through the NDL.
- Spoken Tutorial: They are 10-minute long, audio-video tutorial, on open source software, to improve employment potential of students. It is created for self learning, audio dubbed into 22 languages and with the availability of online version.
- Free and Open Source Software for Education (FOSSEE): It is a project promoting the use of open source software in educational institutions. It does that through instructional material, such as spoken tutorials, documentation, such as textbook companions, awareness programmes, such as conferences, training workshops, and internships.
- Virtual Lab: This is a project to develop a fully interactive simulation environment to perform experiments, collect data, and answer questions to assess the understanding of the knowledge acquired. There are about 225 such labs operational, with more than 1800 experiments that benefitted more than 15 lakhs students.
- E-Yantra: It is a project for enabling effective education across engineering colleges in India on embedded systems and robotics. More than 275 colleges across India have benefited with this initiative.