Currently what services is provided by government for Digital Education?
- A comprehensive initiative called PM eVidya was announced on May 17, 2020, which aims to unify all efforts related to digital/online/on-air education to enable equitable multi-mode access to education.
- It is envisaged that it will benefit nearly 25 crore school-going children across the country.
- One of the most important initiatives of MHRD is DIKSHA (Digital Infrastructure for Knowledge Sharing).
- The government has also launched top 8 e-learning platforms they are: – SWAYAM (Study Webs of Active Learning for Young Aspiring Minds), DIKSHA, e-PG Pathshala, Swayam Prabha, National Digital Library of India (NDLI), E-Shod Sindhu, National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL), and Virtual Labs.
- The Government of India has taken several ICT (Information Communication Technology) initiatives through the Ministry of Education and UGC (University Grant Commission) to launch free electronic learning or e-learning platforms for students.
Advantages of Digital Education in India
During 2019-20 when India and the entire world were fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, Digital Education in India was the sole source of learning for the students in the country. Discussed below are a few other benefits of Digital Education in India:
- This initiative has made students not just gain bookish information but also gain practical and technical knowledge.
- Improved Virtual Communication and Collaboration.
- The comfort of learning from your own home.
- No limitation as to the place of learning or studying. With digital learning, a student can engage in online classes or learning anywhere, at any time.
- With study material available online, students can take their time to understand any topic.
- Through the mode of digital education, learning can be made more engaging and interactive between the students and teachers.
It is also important that Digital Education acts as a supplement and does not completely overpower physical education.
Disadvantages of Digital Education in India
1. Infrastructure: particularly affordable broadband at home
2. More of the same: the risk of layering technology on top of how we have always done school with little benefit
3. Old paradigms: teachers, administrators, and parents trapped in an old model
4. Management and scheduling: customized learning will require much better management and scheduling tools
5. Preparation & development: leaning new tools will be the easy part, learning new roles will be more challenging particularly as school models proliferate
6. Security and cheating: technology will solve some problems but introduce other challenges.
Challenges of Digital Education
Lack of Proper Study Room
Census 2011 tells us that 71 per cent of households with three or more members have dwellings with two rooms or less (74 per cent in rural and 64 per cent in urban areas).
In such a situation how will the children avail education in an undisturbed ambience remain a huge question.
Inadequate Internet Penetration
According to National Sample Survey data for 2017-18, only 42 percent of urban and 15 percent of rural households had internet access, and only 34 percent of urban and 11 percent of rural persons had used the internet in the past 30 days.
These data clearly suggest that 2/3rd of the children will be left out of the online education process.
Slow Internet Speed
When it comes to online education, it is mostly about communicating with teachers directly through video calls or watching online video lectures, and both require high-speed with a stable internet connection.
In absence of adequate speed of the internet the whole idea will fail. We can see the same from the UT of Jammu and Kashmir when there are regular protests by the students as they are not able to study in absence of proper internet connection.
No Standard Policy
Digital education is not about videos of lectures on blackboards by teachers on the internet.
It is about appropriate platforms, technology, tools, interactivity, curation, content, and a lot more.
We lack a proper policy on digital education, infrastructure, content, interaction, and multiple languages.
Lack of Social Cohesion
Public educational institutions also play an exemplary role in social inclusion and relative equality.
It is the place where people of all genders, classes, castes, and communities can meet without one group being forced to bow to others.
Teachers look after the mental, emotional, and social health of children in schools.
Schooling is supposed to look after the emotional, social, and behavioral health of children, which is diametrically opposite to social distancing.
Teachers are not adequately trained to inculcate these learnings through online mediums.
Issue of Parenting
Another challenge is to keep thousands of children out of school when their parents return to their workspaces post lockdown.
Who will assume responsibility for a child’s safety and learning at home remains a huge problem?
Parents and Teachers Training
Most of the teachers and parents are not technically sound and many of them even lack basic knowledge about technology.
It is important that they are trained in that regard so that the fruits of their knowledge can reach the students.
- Digital education is fun learning for all cadres and particularly effective for child learning as the innovative audio-video feature boosts the cognitive elements in a child’s brain.
- The infotainment combination involved in digital learning makes it more practical, applicable, and relatable to our life and surroundings in an interesting manner.
- Students view this as a flexible option allowing them to study as per their time and pace. Teachers too find it convenient to prepare their learning plans well aided by technology.
- Teaching becomes a smoother experience with a perfect mesh of personalized packages having a blend of animations, gamification, and elaborate audio-visual effects.
- Digital Education has brought a positive impact on the lives of students and working professionals. It has given an opportunity to take up additional courses along with their studies or job as per their convenience.