– globalbihari bureau
New Delhi: Covid-19 pandemic that led to closure of schools, had impacted over 240 million children of the country who were enrolled in schools, Union Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ disclosed while releasing guidelines on digital education through online medium, here on Tuesday.
The minister said that to mitigate the impact of the pandemic, “schools will not only have to remodel and reimagine the way teaching and learning have happened so far, but will also need to introduce a suitable method of delivering quality education through a healthy mix of schooling at home and schooling at school”.
Given the fact that extended school closures might cause loss of learning, Pokhriyal said the guidelines – Pragyata – had been developed from the perspective of learners, with a focus on online/blended/digital education for students who were presently at home due to lockdown. These guidelines included eight steps of online/ digital learning that is, Plan- Review- Arrange- Guide- Yak(talk)- Assign- Track- Appreciate, to guide the planning and implementation of digital education step by step with examples.
The guidelines further outlined 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 Minister informed that these guidelines on Digital/ Online Education provided 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,” he said. The guidelines also stressed upon the use of alternative academic calendar of NCERT, for both, learners having access to digital devices and learners having limited or no access.
Recommended screen time
|Pre Primary||On a given day for interacting with parents and guiding them, not more than 30 minutes.|
|Classes 1 to 12||Recommended to adopt/adapt the alternative academic calendar of NCERT at http://ncert.nic.in/aac.html|
|Classes 1 to 8||Online synchronous learning may be undertaken for not more than two sessions of 30-45 minutes each on the days the States/UTs decide to have online classes for primary sections|
|Classes 9 to 12||Online synchronous learning may be undertaken for not more than four sessions of 30-45 minutes each on the days as decided by States/UTs.|
“These guidelines for school heads and teachers describe the need assessment, planning and steps to implement digital education while ensuring cyber safety and privacy measures. It also outlines the support to be provided to students with special needs. Main emphasis is on balanced online and offline activities keeping the screen time as an essential parameter in accordance with the level of students,” an HRD ministry press note stated.
It added: “For parents, the guideline helps to understand the need for physical, mental health and wellbeing along with the cyber safety measures for children at home. Guidelines for physical health and mental wellness is stressed across the guidelines for all stakeholders measures so that children do not get overly stretched or stressed, or get affected negatively (postural defects, ophthalmic issues, and other physical problems) owing to prolonged use of digital devices. Also it provides sufficient Do’s and Don’ts regarding ergonomics and cyber safety.”
The Guidelines also emphasized the need to unify all efforts related to digital/ online/on-air education, benefitting school going children across the country. The initiative included 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 organization and National level organizations to join hands for a change that will sustain post-COVID-19 also,” the ministry stated.