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Steps Taken by The Govt to Ensure Quality Education For Vulnerable Groups & Rural India

Dr Pokhriyal presented the measures taken to prevent the exclusion of vulnerable groups from remote learning & providing quality education to those living in rural areas.

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Quality Online courses are provided through SWAYAM which is an indigenously developed MOOCs (Massive Open Online Course) platform. Since everyone does not have access to the internet, under one of the flagship Initiatives, SWAYAM-Prabha, Ministry of Education is providing 34 educational TV channels covering educational contents for Schools and Higher Educational Institutions. Curriculum-based contents are telecast every day as per pre-defined schedule which can be accessed by students as per their convenience. There is a provision of one class, one channel for school education. In addition to this, a comprehensive initiative called PM eVIDYA has been initiated which unifies all efforts related to digital/online/on-air education to enable multi-mode access to education.

Regarding the rural areas, the government has also launched Samagra Shiksha – an Integrated Scheme for school education, w.e.f. 2018-19, which is an overarching programme for the school education sector extending from pre-school to class XII and aims to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education at all levels of school education. It envisages the ‘school’ as a continuum from pre-school, primary, upper primary, secondary to senior secondary levels and subsumes the three erstwhile centrally sponsored schemes i.e. Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) and Teacher Education (TE).

Bridging gender and social category gaps at all levels of school education is one of the major objectives of the scheme. The scheme reaches out to girls and children belonging to Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST), minority communities and transgender. The scheme also gives attention to urban deprived children, children affected by periodic migration and children living in remote and scattered habitations. Under the scheme, provision has been made for giving preference to Special Focus Districts (SFDs), Educationally Backward Blocks (EBBs), LWE affected districts, and aspirational districts while planning interventions like setting up of primary schools, upper primary schools, construction of additional classrooms, toilets, Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas (KGBVs).

A comprehensive initiative called PM eVIDYA has been initiated which unifies all efforts related to digital/online/on-air education to enable multi-mode access to education. This will benefit nearly 27 crore school-going children across the country.

The vulnerable groups initiative includes:

  1. Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) ranked in the top 100 NIRF or NAAC score of 3.26 can offer an online programme without prior approval of UGC. Institutions with NAAC score of 3.01 to 3.25 can offer an online programme with prior approval of UGC. 

  2. For conventional courses, online content has been increased from up to 20% to 40% in regular degree programmes.

  3. DIKSHA the nation’s digital infrastructure for providing quality e-content for school education in states/UTs: and QR coded Energized Textbooks for all grades (one nation, one digital platform)

  4. Study materials have been provided on an experimental basis for 12 channels for classes 1 to 12 and actions are expedited to run these channels in a full-fledged manner.

  5. Extensive use of Radio, Community radio and CBSE Podcast ShikshaVani

  6. Special e-content for visually and hearing impaired developed on Digitally Accessible Information System (DAISY) and in sign language on NIOS website/YouTube.

The rural area (where work is in progress) initiative includes:

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  1. DIKSHA the nation’s digital infrastructure for providing quality e-content for school education in states/UTs: and QR coded Energized Textbooks for all grades (one nation, one digital platform)

  2. One earmarked TV channel in SWAYAM PRABHA per class from 1 to 12 (one class, one channel)

  3. SWAYAM Portal, E-PATHASHALA, extensive use of Radio, Community radio and CBSE Podcast ShikshaVani

  4. Special e-content for visually and hearing impaired developed on Digitally Accessible Information System (DAISY) and in sign language on NIOS website/YouTube

The above measures are taken by the Government to prevent the exclusion of vulnerable groups from remote learning. And to enable quality education that bridges gender gap and is accessible to specially-abled alike in the rural areas.

The information was given by the Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank,’ in a written reply in the Lok Sabha on 14 Sep 2020.

Source: pib.gov.in

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