Online learning – New guidelines from NCERT.

As the Covid -19 shutdown schools and colleges and disrupted learning ,Most of the schools and colleges shifted to online learning through digital education.But this sudden shift to online learning raised a number of concerns such as the issues of accessibility ,Health impact on students due to their prolonged exposure of screens of their computer and Laptops ,smartphones etc. Inorder to address this concern and establish a set of guidelines for digital education the ministry of Human resources has come out with Pragyata guidelines for digital education.This guidelines have been framed by NCERT for the schools and colleges.

But since education and learning falls under the domain of the state government ,they have been given the flexibility to customize the rules and built upon the guidelines prescribed by the NCERT based upon Local needs and demands. Accessing the digital resources requires two key resources communication device and high speed internet ,But every student may not have access to the resources thus creates unequal access to the technology and therefore inequality in education .This major concern has been pointed by the NCERT and MHRD ministry and has been covered under the pragyata guidelines.It recognizes that student with same class have different access to technology for example a few students have access to smart phones/computer along with 4G internet connections while a few students might have communication device but their access to internet is limited , some have access to TV/radio and dish cable and finally some don’t have any communication device and they might be completely cutoff from the internet .This unequal access is the result of their family economic status and their remote locations,But this factors should never be allowed to create inequality and hindrance in education.

The guidelines states that every school should conduct the survey to address the kind of digital infra accessed by its students and teachers and then decide upon the mode of teaching based on the survey. The guidelines presume that synchronous communication (face to face learning) is not the only mode of communication because in such case both the teacher and the student should have access to communication device with high speed internet.So the guidelines has recommended synchronous as well as the asynchronous mode of learning based upon the survey conducted. Asynchronous mode includes the availability of recorded videos for readily downloaded ,Radio shows and TV programs ,self learning activities carrying out creative projects .Such activities can be promoted by schools by sending messages via text based messages or whatsapp .So overall a mix of Synchronous learning and Asynchronous learning will help in reducing the impact of the unequal access to technology

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