(GIST OF KURUKSHETRA) Technology Integration for Quality Education
Technology Integration for Quality Education
- The impact of technology is such that the lines between the physical, digital and biological spheres are increasingly blurring and is rapidly changing the way people live, work and communicate. The word governance and e-governance have no longer a clear distinction in terms of policies, institutions, and implementation strategies. With the evolution of digital technologies, both administrations and institutions across the globe have been conclusively transformed structurally and in terms of the relationship between the Governments and citizens. These observations are also drawn from two decades of analytical research and the monitoring of trends within the framework of the United Nations E-Government Survey. While nearly every country is engaged in the process of digitalisation, not all have achieved the same level of development, and while institutions at all levels are committed to modernisation and digital transformation, approaches and outcomes vary greatly.
In the school education sector of India, technology has been used both in governance processes to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of schooling system and also for enhancing quality of education. Various governance related technological interventions have been initiated and undertaken by the Government which are given below:
- It is a well-known fact that timely and accurate data is the basis of sound and effective planning and decision-making. Realising the need of this, Ministry of Education (MoE) had initiated Unified District Information System for Education (UDISE) in 2012-13 integrating DISE for elementary and secondary education which is one of the largest Management Information Systems for School Education covering more than 1.5 million schools, 9.6 million teachers and 264 million children.
- UDISE+ is an updated and improved version of UDISE. This is now online and has been collecting data in real-time since 2018-19. UDISE+ provides robust, real-time, and credible information for an objective evaluation of the system, which can be used for designing evidence based specific interventions for improvement in the school education sector. Further, UDISE+ has a mandate of collecting information from all recognised and unrecognised schools which are imparting formal education from Pre-primary to XII.
- UDISE+, collects information through an online Data Collection Form (DCF) on parameters ranging from students, schools, teachers, infrastructure, enrolments, examination results etc. Ever since its introduction, UDISE+ has acquired the status of the official database of the MoE and is now operational in all the districts of the country.
(ii) Performance Grading Index (PGI)
- The PGI is a tool to provide insights on the status of school education and to catalyse transformational change in the States/UTs on the basis of key indicators that drive their performance and critical areas for improvement. It grades all States/UTs on their performance across 77 indicators on school education and helps identify gaps thereby enabling all States/UTs to design appropriate interventions to bridge them. This was introduced from 2018-19.
(iii) Online survey platform for National Curriculum Framework (NCF):
- With the arrival of NEP 2020, the focus of education has move towards learning about how to think critically, solve problems, how to be creative and multidisciplinary, and how to innovate, adapt, and absorb new material in changing fields. Pedagogy is expected to evolve to make education more experiential, holistic, integrated, inquiry-driven, discovery-oriented, learner-centred, flexible, and enjoyable. To make the above expectations a reality, a new NCF is being developed by the NCERT. The development of this framework is unique in many ways as it is adopting a `bottom-up’ approach in which suggestions are invited from all stakeholders on the basis of which new NCF will be developed and on 29 July 2022, a mobile/online survey for NCF was launched.
(iv) NDEAR (National Digital Education Architecture) and Vidya Samiksha Kendra:
- NDEAR has been launched with a larger vision to create a unifying national digital infrastructure to energise and catalyse the education ecosystem. NDEAR has been conceived as a unifying National Digital infrastructure to energise and catalyse the education ecosystem. The core idea of NDEAR is to facilitate achieving the goals laid down by NEP 2020, through a digital infrastructure for innovations in the education ecosystem, ensuring autonomy and participation of all the relevant stakeholders. NDEAR will enable a common set of principles and approaches to be followed in building, using, and re-using technology for education.
- Vidya Samiksha Kendra (VSK) has been set-up at national level at NCERT and is aimed at leveraging data and technology to bring a big leap in learning outcomes. VSK will include Student, Teacher and School registry which will bring synergy to the work being done in the ecosystem by integrating data from different datasets and empowers students, teachers, and parents to bridge the gap. This will cover the entire data of school eco-system and will analyse by using big data analysis, artificial intelligence and machine learning in order to enhance the overall monitoring of the education system and thereby improving learning outcomes. All States and UTs have been provided financial support under Samagra Shiksha scheme for setting up VSKs.
- PRABANDH: Department of School Education and Literacy had launched PRABANDH - Project Appraisal, Budgeting Achievements and Data Handling System in 2020. This System has been developed under Samagra Shiksha as a significant step towards leveraging technology to enhance efficiency and manage the implementation of the Centrally Sponsored Integrated Scheme for School Education. PRABANDH System can be accessed at www.samagrashiksha.in. It has more than 10 lakh activated users and can be accessed from the School, Block, District and State Level.
Technology integration has also been an integral part of enhancing quality of education. Various initiatives have been undertaken to tackle this challenging situation which are as follows:
(i) PM e-Vidya: PM e-vidya launched during the time of pandemic is one such comprehensive initiative which ensures coherent access to digital education through multimodal approach. The digital platform of MO E `DI KSHA’ has been declared as `One Nation, One Digital Platform’. DIKSHA can be accessed by learners and teachers across the country and currently supports 30 Indian languages. Each State/UT leverages this platform in its own way, as it has the freedom and choice to use the varied capabilities and solutions of the platform to design and run programs for teachers, learners and administrators. DIKSHA policies and tools make it possible for the education ecosystem (educationist, experts, organisations, institutions - government, autonomous institutions, non-government and private organisations) to participate, contribute and leverage a common platform to achieve leaming goals at scale for the country.
(ii) Capacity Building of Teachers through NISHTHA online: The NEP 2020 clearly focuses on empowering teachers by spelling out the role at different levels of expertise/stage and competencies required. The policy has stated that each teacher will be expected to participate in at least 50 hours of Continuous Professional Development (CPD) program every year for their own professional development, driven by their own interests. CPD will systematicaIly cover the latest pedagogies regarding foundational literacy and numeracy, assessment, competency-based learning, experiential learning, arts-integrated, sports-integrated, and storytelling-based approaches, etc. National Initiative for School Heads’ and Teachers’ Holistic Advancement (NISHTHA), an integrated training programme was initiated covering all the recommended areas and aims at holistic development of teachers.
The following initiatives have been announced in Budget 2022-23 to expand the scale and scope of digital technology and to ensure learning for all, with equity, to cover all students at all levels of education, keeping in view India’s scale, diversity, complexity and device penetration.
(i) 200 TV Channels: Due to learning gaps caused by the pandemic-induced closure of schools, the need to impart supplementary teaching and to build a resilient mechanism for education delivery. For this purpose, the ‘one classone TV channel’ program of PM e-VIDYA
will be expanded from 12 to 200 TV channels. This will enable all states to provide supplementary education in regional languages for classes 1-12.
(ii) Virtual Labs: NEP 2020 recommends creating virtual laboratories so that all students have equal access to quality practical, critical thinking and handson experience for teaching-learning of Science, Mathematics and Vocational Skills. To support this around 750 virtual labs in science and mathematics, and 75 skilling e-labs for the simulated learning environment, will be set up in 2022-23.
(iii) High Quality E-Content: High-Quality e-content in all spoken languages will be developed for delivery via internet, mobile phones, TV, and radio through Digital Teachers.
(iv) Competitive Mechanism For E-Content: A competitive mechanism for the development of quality e-content by the teachers will be set up to empower and equip them with digital tools of teaching and facilitate better learning outcomes.
- The NEP 2020 calls for investment in digital infrastructure, online teaching platforms and tools, virtual labs, digital repositories, online assessments, technology and pedagogy for online teaching learning etc., with the promotion of multilingualism and the power of language in teaching and learning through innovative and experiential methods, including through gamification and apps, by weaving in the cultural aspects of the languages - such as films, theatre, storytelling, poetry, and music -and by drawing connections with various relevant subjects and with real-life experiences.
- Technology will be integral in developing lifelong learners who have a growth mind-set, innate curiosity, drive to explore and firm belief in ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated pursuit of knowledge. An inclusive, equitable, affordable and integrated digital ecosystem is needed to facilitate and sustain lifelong learning and to reap the benefits of inclusive technology development so that no one is left behind.