As part of a special economic and comprehensive package of about Rs 20 lakh crore, the Union Finance Minister recently announced certain initiatives to give the education sector a much-needed push.
The comprehensive PM e-VIDYA programme is aimed at unifying all efforts pertaining to digital/online/on-air education. It will facilitate multiples modes of access to quality educational content. Several initiatives have been included in this programme:
The one nation-one digital DIKSHA platform is gearing to become India’s digital infrastructure, which will provide quality e-content for school education, to learners across the states and union territories.
Taking forward the ‘one class-one channel’ concept, there will be one dedicated television channel for each grade for classes 1 to 12, offering access to quality educational material.
Under the SWAYAM initiative, online courses in the Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS) format will be made available for school and higher education.
The IITPAL initiative is aimed at helping students prepare for IITJEE/NEET.
Not only will there be use of the Community Radio to impart education, the Central Board of Secondary Education’s (CBSE) has introduced a podcast app called ‘Shiksha Vani’ to provide the latest news about CBSE-related events and annoucements, to students, parents and teachers. Study material will also be made available to the differently abled through the Digitally Accessible Information System (DAISY) and in sign language on NIOS website/ YouTube.
These initiatives will benefit almost 25 crore school students across India.
Under the Manodarpan initiative, psychosocial support will be provided to students, teachers and parents, through a website, a toll-free helpline, national directory of counsellors, interactive chat platform, and so on.
In addition, the Government of India will gearing up to expand e-learning in higher education by making the regulatory framework for open, distance, and online education, more liberal. Almost a 100 top universities will launch their online courses. Also, the traditional universities and ODL programmes will be increasing their online components from 20 per cent to 40 per cent. As a result, almost seven crore students from various colleges and universities in India will be able to avail of better learning opportunities now.
The Government is also in the process of preparing a new National Curriculum and Pedagogical Framework for school education, teacher education and early childhood education to make them future ready in alignment with global benchmarks. The objective is to encourage critical thinking, promote creativity, and enhance communication skills, while providing a meaningful and enjoyable learning experience.
The Centre will also be rolling out the National Foundational Literacy and Numeracy Mission to ensure that each and every child in India achieves basic literacy and numeracy in Grade 3. To accomplish this, efforts will be made to build the competency and capacity of teachers, assess performance and learning outcomes, and so on in a systematic manner. Almost four crore students below up to the age of 11 will benefit from this initiative.