New Delhi, May 18 : Welcoming the host of initiatives unveiled by the Finance Minister in the fifth and last tranche of the Rs 20-lakh crore Covid-19 packages as part of the 'Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan', Union Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' has said the "One nation, one digital platform" and "one class one channel" will ensure that quality education material will reach the students present in farthest corners of the country.
Stating that the initiatives will boost access and equity in education and improve the gross enrolment ratio in the times to come, Mr Pokhriyal said that due consideration was being given to the Divyang children also and the measures will usher in a new paradigm in the creation of New India. He was reacting to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's announcement of a set of initiatives, including a comprehensive initiative called PM e-VIDYA, "One nation, one digital platform" and "one class one channel" among others.
This will benefit nearly 25 crore school going children across the country. While to-be-launched PM e-VIDYA unifies all efforts related to digital/online/on-air education to enable multi-mode access to education, and includes: DIKSHA (one nation-one digital platform) which will now become the nation’s digital infrastructure for providing quality econtent in school education for all the states/UTs, it includes TV (one class-one channel) where one dedicated channel per grade for each of the classes 1 to 12 will provide access to quality educational material: SWAYAM online courses in MOOCS format for school and higher education and IITPAL for IITJEE/NEET preparation.
Also, part of the package is Air through Community radio and CBSE Shiksha Vani podcast and study material for the differently abled developed on Digitally Accessible Information System (DAISY) and in sign language on NIOS website/YouTube. To provide psychosocial support to students, teachers and families for mental health and emotional wellbeing in the times of Corona, the Man darpan initiative is being launched to provide such support through a website, a toll-free helpline, national directory of counselors, and interactive chat platform. This initiative will benefit all school going children in the country, along with their parents, teachers and the community of stakeholders in school education.
The Government proposes to expand e-learning in higher education – by liberalising open, distance and online education regulatory framework. Top 100 universities will start online courses. Also, online components in conventional universities and ODL programmes will also be raised from present 20 per cent to 40 per cent to provide enhanced learning opportunities. Recognising the need to promote critical thinking, creative and communication skills, the Government wants the curriculum to be rooted in Indian ethos and integrated with global skill requirements. Therefore, it has been decided to prepare a new National Curriculum and Pedagogical Framework for school education, teacher education and early childhood stage to prepare students and future teachers as per global benchmarks.
As part of this, a National Foundational Literacy and Numeracy Mission will be launched, for ensuring that every child in the country necessarily attains foundational literacy and numeracy in Grade 3 through teacher capacity building, robust curricular framework, engaging learning material – both online and offline, learning outcomes and their measurement indices, assessment techniques, tracking of learning progress will be designed to take it forward in a systematic fashion. (UNI)