Union HRD Minister, Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank,’ on 27 JUN 2020, virtually participated in G20 Extraordinary Virtual Education Ministers’ Meeting. This special session has been convened to discuss the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the education sector, how different nations have dealt with it and how the Member States can collaborate to further the cause of education in these difficult times.
In his statement, the Union Minister expressed his gratitude towards Chairperson for his initiative to organise this historic and relevant meeting of the G20 nations to collaboratively address the widespread disruptions caused by the pandemic in the education sector.
The Union Minister informed all members about India's efforts to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on all sectors including education. He said that Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, has recently launched a clarion call for an ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ or Self Reliant India. Government of India has also announced an unprecedented economic package worth around 10% of India’s GDP with substantial financial allocations to reinvigorate the education and health sectors of our country.
Shri Pokhriyal also shared information about efforts of the HRD Ministry to promote digital learning during COVID-19 crisis. He said that they have developed excellent digital educational content over the years. These are available on various platforms like DIKHSA, SWAYAM, Virtual labs, e-PG Pathshala and National Digital Library to name a few.
He further said, “ We recognize that many students do not have adequate access to digital means of education. To address the digital divide, we are making extensive use of TV channels SWAYAM PRABHA, a group of 34 DTH channels, and Radio including Community Radio. With the help of these, we have succeeded in providing education 24x7 to students in the remotest areas.”
The Indian HRD Minister said that in order to bring all e-resources on a common platform, they are soon going to launch the Prime Minister eVIDYA programme. This will include:
ONE NATION ONE DIGITAL PLATFORM
All educational e-resources will be brought on one platform under the concept of One Nation One Digital Program, with easy navigation through single integrated search.
ONE CLASS ONE CHANNEL
There will be one dedicated TV channel per grade for classes 1 to 12, to provide quality educational material.
The PM eVidya programme is expected to benefit nearly 25 crore school children.
ONLINE PROGRAMMES IN UNIVERSITIES
100 top-ranked universities in the country are soon going to start full-fledged online programmes. Permissible online components in Conventional, Open and Distance modes of education will be enhanced from 20 % to 40%.
SWAYAM MOOCS COURSES: These courses are being mapped with university curriculum and Higher Education Institutions are being encouraged to make it part of the curriculum.
REGIONAL LANGUAGES: e-learning resources are being prepared in eight regional languages.
DAISY: The study material for the differently-abled is being developed on Digitally Accessible Information System (DAISY) and in sign language.
MANODARPAN: Manodarpan is an initiative by the Education Ministry for psychosocial support of students, teachers and families for their mental health and emotional wellbeing. A National Helpline has been set up to provide counselling.
The Union Minister reaffirmed India's commitment to the efforts being taken by the G-20 Group of Nations to continue with its focus on the development and advancement of flexible learning strategies, including a variety of distance and e-learning solutions within different country contexts.
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