FM pushes for e-learning from dedicated TV channels to online degrees

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday pushed for promotion of e-learning in a post covid-19 India and said there will be dedicated TV channels for each school class and permission would be granted to 100 top universities to start online degrees.

Sitharaman said the government will launch PM eVidya, a programme for multi-mode access to digital education, which will include the existing Diskha portal for online content. There will be one earmarked TV channel for each class in school, exclusive use of radio and community radio, and online degree programmes.

Sitharaman said educational institutions are using technology in a big way and the government is already airing school education content through three TV channels. “Another 12 channels are to be added. One class, one channel will also be part of this. Then there will be extensive use of radio community radio (for education purposes).”

The minister said the HRD ministry has allowed 100 top universities in the country to start online degree courses from 30 May “automatically”. This means these universities can offer online degrees without seeking fresh approval from regulators.

This, the government, believes will benefit students who cannot attend classes disrupted by to the coronavirus pandemic.

Online education, however, comes with its share of challenges, ranging from internet bandwidth to availability of electricity, and the health hazard of increased screen time for students.

Sitharaman added that the Centre will also launch a new mission for early literacy and numeracy skills to overcome the learning crisis at the early school stage.

—Livemint

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