In a historic meeting, Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal met with School Education Secretaries of all states and union territories virtually on Monday to discuss various measures adopted to manage the education system during the pandemic and the strategies adopted for online and offline learning in schools.
An amount of Rs 2,500 crore will be released soon to ensure continuity of various educational initiatives by the states and UTs and ad-hoc grants to the tune of Rs 5,228 crore have already been released to the states under Samagra Shiksha.
Minister of State for Education Sanjay Dhotre, Secretary of Higher Education Amit Khare, Secretary of School Education and Literacy Anita Karwal and other senior officials of the Ministry were present in the meeting. Representatives from almost all the States and UTs attended it including additional Chief Secretaries, Principal Secretaries and Secretaries of Education Department.
Addressing the current situation as unfortunate, Pokhriyal said, “The Government is committed to turn the situation into opportunity by doing new experiments to ensure safety and academic welfare of students.”
He further underscored the importance of reaching out to the most vulnerable and marginalized children in this pandemic period. He stated that the Education Department has taken up several Initiatives in 2020-21 for facilitating continuous learning during the pandemic. These include expansion of Diksha under PM eVIDYA, DTH TV channels under the bouquet of Swayam Prabha TV channels, launch of online Nishtha training for teachers at Diksha, Launch of Manodarpan to cater to the socio-emotional and psychological needs of the students, etc. Also, several initiatives have been taken to reach out to children without access to digital education.
The minister noted all the problems and suggestions made by the States.
Sanjay Dhotre stressed upon exploring ways to provide hybrid education comprising both offline and online teaching methods. “We would need new learning methodologies, quality learning content and evaluation assessment model,” he added. He emphasised that scientific temperament of students will play a deciding role in post-covid world therefore education system of our country should focus on developing critical thinking ability, logical reasoning ability and scientific temper among students.
The major areas which were identified in the meeting that required special attention were identifying and mainstreaming of Out of School Children and ensuring sustained Enrolment, Retention and Transition, Academic learning & cognitive development of students, Capacity building- with specific focus on blended and home-based learning including student assessments and data use, Nutritional, socio-emotional support, Digital education and monitoring, tracking and remediation.National, States