Context: The Union Human Resource Development Minister released PRAGYATA Guidelines on Digital Education recently.
- The COVID-19 pandemic has led to closure of schools and has impacted over 240 million children of the country who are enrolled in schools.
- Extended school closures may cause loss of learning.
- To mitigate the impact of the pandemic, schools will have to remodel and reimagine the way teaching and learning have happened so far.
- The schools will also need to introduce a suitable method of delivering quality education through a healthy mix of schooling at home and schooling at school.
- Online education has filled a lot of gaps during the pandemic but utmost care has to be taken while using digital technologies to educate the students.
About PRAGYATA guidelines:
- Developed from the perspective of learners, with a focus on online/blended/digital education for students who are presently at home due to lockdown.
- These guidelines on Digital/ Online Education provide a roadmap or pointers for carrying forward online education to enhance the quality of education.
- The guidelines will be relevant and useful for a diverse set of stakeholders including school heads, teachers, parents, teacher educators and students.
- The guidelines stress upon the use of an alternative academic calendar of NCERT, for both, learners having access to digital devices and learners having limited or no access.
- The PRAGYATA guidelines include eight steps of online/ digital learning that is, Plan- Review- Arrange- Guide- Yak(talk)- Assign- Track- Appreciate.
- These steps guide the planning and implementation of digital education step by step with examples.
- The guidelines outlines suggestions for administrators, school heads, teachers, parents and students on the following areas:
- Need assessment
- Concerns while planning online and digital education like duration, screen time, inclusiveness, balanced online and offline activities etc level wise
- Modalities of intervention including resource curation, level wise delivery etc.
- Physical, mental health and wellbeing during digital education
- Cyber safety and ethical practices including precautions and measures for maintaining cyber safety
- Collaboration and convergence with various initiatives
The Guidelines also emphasize the need to unify all efforts related to digital/ online/on-air education, benefitting school going children across the country. The initiative includes DIKSHA, SWAYAM Prabha, SWAYAM MOOCS, Radio Vahini, Shiksha Vaani, Special content for children with special needs and ITPAL.
In a country like India characterized by multifarious diversity, switching over to digital modes of education needs various States/ UTs level organizations and National level organizations to join hands for a change that will sustain post-COVID-19 also.
Image Source: PIB