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'PRAGYATA' Guidelines on Digital Education

'PRAGYATA' Guidelines on Digital Education

Context:

The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has released 'PRAGYATA' guidelines on digital education. National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has prepared these guidelines. Across the country, over 25 crore students have been out of school since mid-March 2020.

Duration:

  • For kindergarten, nursery, and pre-school, only 30 minutes of screen time per day for interacting with parents is recommended.
  • Schools can hold live online classes for a maximum of 1.5 hours per day for Classes 1-8, and 3 hours per day for Classes 9-12.
  • It emphasized the aim of digital classrooms is not to try and recreate Face-to-Face (F2F) classrooms over the internet.
  • Nature: The guidelines are only advisory in nature and state governments can formulate their own rules, based on local needs.
  • Categories: The guidelines acknowledge that these students live in households which fall into different categories:
    • Those who have computers or smartphones with 4G internet access.
    • Those with smartphones but limited or no internet access.
    • Those with television with cable or DTH.
    • Those with a radio set or a basic mobile phone with FM radio.
    • Those with no communication devices at all.

Need for Survey:

  • It advises schools to first survey the digital infrastructure available with teachers as well as students, the levels of parental involvement before making decisions about the mode of teaching.
    • Therefore, schools must also make arrangements to reach students who do not have access to any digital infrastructure at home.
  • It also recommends ethical practices including precautions and measures for maintaining cyber safety.

Real-time Communication:

  • This is real-time teaching and learning that can happen collaboratively at the same time with a group of online learners or individuals, and teachers allowing instant feedback, e.g. online teaching through video conference, audio conference, using satellite or telecommunication facilities.
    • However, schools should not assume that teaching-learning through it is the only requirement in order to support effective digital learning.

Asynchronous Learning:

  • Guidelines have offered several recommendations for asynchronous learning with tools to allow students to download lessons or listen to radio and TV programs, communicate through Whatsapp and SMS, the study on their own, and undertake creative projects.

Concerns:

  • Children exposed to digital technologies or gadgets for a long time are prone to severe health issues.
  • Thus, sitting with digital gadgets for longer hours can be avoided by designing age-appropriate schedules.

Source: The Hindu