New Delhi, July 29, 2020.
Union Minister for HRD Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ virtually launched India Report on Digital Education, 2020. Shri Pokhriyal said that 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. He also urged to all to read this report to get a better understanding of the various initiatives taken to facilitate remote learning and education for all by taking schools to the students.
School Education is envisaged as a comprehensive and convergent programme committed to universalize digital education across the wide spectrum of schools from pre-nursery to higher secondary classes. The quality digital education has acquired a new urgency in the present context of globalization. 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.
Besides, the central Initiatives State/ UT Governments have also managed the critical task of providing digital education at the door step of the students. 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 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. Telangana has online certificate programs for teachers on ‘Management of mental well-being during COVID’.
Some states have launched innovative mobile apps and portals as means to facilitate remote learning. Madhya Pradesh has launched Top Parent App, a free mobile app that empowers parents of young children (3-8 years) with knowledge and strategies around child development to help them meaningfully engage with their children. KHEL(Knowledge Hub for Electronic Learning), a Game Based Application has also been started, that covers class 1-3. Uttarakhand is making use of Sampark Baithak App through which primary school students can access animated videos, audios, worksheet, puzzles, etc. Assam has launched the Biswa Vidya Assam Mobile Application for class 6 to 10. Bihar has launched Vidyavahini App with e-books for class 1 to 12. Under Unnayan Bihar Initiative, Bihar has also launched Mera Mobile Mera Vidyalaya for students, and Unnayan Bihar Teacher App. Chandigarh has launched Phoenix Mobile application to assess the learning outcome for the students of class 1 to 8. Maharashtra has launched the Learning Outcomes Smart Q Mobile App to facilitate learning for students in the state. Punjab has launched iScuela Learn Mobile Application for class 1 to 10. Sikkim Edutech App connects all the schools of Sikkim under the State Education Department, Parents also have login access along with students, teachers and administrative units. Tripura has an application titled ‘EmpowerU Shiksha Darpan’ in order to facilitate student’s appraisal. Uttar Pradesh launches ‘Top Parent’ app targeting children from 3-8years age. The application currently houses three high-quality EdTech apps for children – Chimple, Maths Masti and Google Bolo.
States are also pioneering Whatsapp as a medium for education and to encourage teachers, parents, and students to stay connected. Odisha Shiksha Sanjog – a Whatsapp based digital learning programme has been launched in Odisha that shares e-content with class groups in a streamlined way. Education through Whatsapp is also being dispensed in Punjab, Puducherry. Rajasthan is using Whatsapp innovatively for Hawamahal – Joyful Saturday program where students will listen to stories and play the games with the instructions being shared to them via whatsapp. Mission Prerna ki e-Pathshala is a Teacher to student whatsapp group in Uttar Pradesh. Himachal Pradesh has launched three whatsapp campaigns namely, ‘Karona, Thodi Masti, Thodi Padhai for joyful learning & ‘Har Ghar Pathshala’ where the State disseminates e-content, students go through the content and solve the worksheets thereby provided with teacher’s feedback. For students with special needs, the campaign has been named as “Hum Kisi se Kam Nahi- Mera Ghar Meri Pathshala”. The content is being shared through WhatsApp groups where special educators are assigned.