PM Modi launches key education initiatives for ‘education revolution’
From educational tools for the differently abled to an assessment framework for schools to a new teacher’s training programme, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched several important educational initiatives which he said were aimed at ushering an “education revolution” in the country and placing India’s educational system on the “global map”.
Addressing the inaugural session of an educational conclave organised by the union education ministry under its ongoing “Shikshak Parv” celebration, the PM said “we have to constantly redefine and redesign our teaching-learning process in order to make our education sector world-class; in this rapidly changing era, our teachers also have to learn about new systems and techniques rapidly.”
The PM also announced the launch of Vidyanjali 2.0, a portal that will facilitate donations, contributions from Corporate Social Responsibility funds, and volunteering, all aimed at developing and improving schools.
“Vidyanjali 2.0 is like a platform for the country’s resolution of ‘Sabka Prayas’ with ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas’. In this society, our private sector has to come forward and contribute to increasing the quality of education in government schools,” Modi said. The PM recently added a fourth element to his government’s mission statement, “with everyone, for everyone’s progress, and building trust in everyone” -- “with everyone’s efforts”.
Among the initiatives launched by the PM were the Indian Sign Language Dictionary (audio and text embedded sign language video for the hearing impaired, in conformity with Universal Design of Learning) and talking Books (audio books for the visually impaired).
Dr Satendra Singh, a disability right activist, said the dictionary will help to have a uniform sign language in the country. “Internationally, several countries have their own sign languages. For instance, the United States and the United Kingdom have their own sign languages. But within India, due to the existing geographical variations, we see different variations of sign languages in different regions. It becomes very difficult to have a uniform sign language to use in education. This dictionary will address the issue. As far as talking books are concerned, there are several softwares and resources already available like that for people with visual disability,” he said.
The PM also announced the launch of the School Quality Assurance and Assessment Framework of CBSE to provide global parameters of attainment as standards in schools affiliated to it. According to the ministry, it’s being “operationised” now.
Noting that “inclusivity” and “equitability” in education is must for any country to progress, the PM said, “The National Digital Education Architecture, N-DEAR is likely to play a major role in eradicating inequality in education and its modernization. N-DEAR will act as a ‘super-connect’ between various academic activities in the same way the UPI interface revolutionized the banking sector.”
The government, in Union budget 2021-22 announced the setting up N-DEAR to strengthen the country’s digital infrastructure for education.
Asserting that the initiatives launched are not just policy-based but also participation-based, the prime minister said, “If we are in the midst of a transformation period, fortunately, we also have a modern and futuristic new National Education Policy (NEP) 2020. These transformations in the education sector are not just policy-based but also participation-based”
Speaking on the occasion, Union Minister for education and skill development Dharmendra Pradhan said, “Shikshak Parv will encourage innovative practices to ensure not only spread of education at all levels but also to improve quality, institutionalise inclusive practices and enhance sustainability in the schools.”
The ‘shikshak parv’ is being observed between September 5 and September 17 to recognise the contributions of teachers. Between September 8 and September 17, the ministry will conduct webinars on themes including technology in education, nurturing inclusive classrooms, foundation literacy and numeracy, and other practices and initiatives which can be adopted by the schools across the country.