Maximum use of national broadcaster Doordarshan and other educational channels may be made for teaching purposes
Last week, HRD ministry roped in Tata Sky and Airtel, to offer free-to-air educational channels run by the government
NEW DELHI: The Union government on Wednesday said e-learning should be encouraged to reduce the disruptive impact of covid-19 on academics. It advised educational institutions to adhere to the academic schedule through online teaching and distance education.
“All educational, training, coaching institutions etc shall remain closed. However, these establishments are expected to maintain the academic schedule through online teaching," a government notice said.
The notice said “maximum use" of national broadcaster "Doordarshan (DD) and other educational channels may be made for teaching purposes".
The national lockdown has been now extended till 3 May, given the rise in number of cases of covid-19 and the fatalities from the disease.
The notification, however, was silent on when classes would resume formally and what could be the possible schedule of key examinations at the school board and higher educational levels, including the IIT-JEE exams, without which academic sessions at several levels cannot begin.
The government notification assumes significance as it advises all institutions to take the help of technology and TV channels to offer classes. While e-learning is possible in cities, in small towns and villages, where broadband and mobile internet speed is relatively slow, the prospects appear bleak. TV channels may be helpful, provided the content offered is mapped to the curriculum and the quality of teaching is not dull, a constant criticism of the distance education model through TV.
Last week, the human resource development ministry roped in private direct-to-home (DTH) TV service providers, Tata Sky and Airtel, to offer free-to-air educational channels run by the government along with DD and other service providers. The HRD ministry also claimed last week that there was a five-fold increase in the number of people visiting its online content platforms.