Education Ministry to set up forum to enhance digital education: Report
Indian education system has witnessed drastic changes in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought dynamic changes to the education system in India with a sharp turn towards online learning. Taking note of the development, the Education Ministry is working on establishing an autonomous body to handle technology-led education and assessment in the country.
A report by Moneycontrol stated that the government is planning to set up the National Educational Technology Forum (NETF) by April 2022 with the aim of strategizing the use of technology across all stages of education.
Speaking to the portal, a government official said technology-led education will be gradually implemented across schools such that topics like coding and computational thinking are taught to students at an early age. Furthermore, all technology-led learning programmes would be integrated into one single platform to enhance students’ knowledge.
As per the report, the education ministry has conducted several meetings with officials from education boards and departments from various states and Union Territories to discuss opportunities related to technology-based learning. During the meetings, the education ministry directed state education boards to consolidate a list of all technology-enabled programmes from all schools as well as funds and teaching resources required to upgrade the system. The report noted that the data is currently being collected from various schools across the country.
Once established, the NETF will be advising the central and state government agencies to incorporate and enhance technology-based programmes in the education system. The Forum will also work for boosting technology access at the grassroot education level.
The Forum will be conducting multiple regional and national workshops and conference to support the changes in the Indian education system and make it technologically more resilient.With the outbreak of the pandemic, the education sector witnessed a paradigm shift in the year 2020. EdTech emerged at the forefront of bridgingthe gap between private and public schools.
In addition, the Centre called for mass digitization of schools and other key players in the sector in its National Education Policy (NEP). Under the new policy, the government also plans to increase investment in digital infrastructure, creation of virtual labs, developing online teaching platforms among other tools to enhance e-learning.
A report by the Oxford University Press (OUP) last month said that India performed well in transitioning to online learning in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. India scored 3.3/5 with its quick transition to digital learning, despite looming challenges such as lack of internet connectivity and unequal access to digital equipment. While the COVID-19 pandemic paved the way for hybrid model of learning which includes both traditional and digital methods, the report called on governments to take swift actions to ensure continuous progress.