The Union Human Resource Development Ministry’s online learning platforms have been accessed five times more during the lockdown period caused due to coronavirus outbreak. “As the HRD Ministry carries on with its efforts to mitigate the effects of the Covid-19 lockdown and provide students with continued access to learning during this period, e-learning in the country has witnessed an appreciable upsurge during the past two weeks,” as per a release by the HRD.
During the lockdown period, the national online education platform SWAYAM has been accessed nearly 2.5 lakh times, which is about a five time increase over the figure of 50,000 strikes in the last week of March. This is in addition to about 26 lakh learners already enrolled in the 574 courses available on the SWAYAM platform.
Likewise, nearly 59,000 people are viewing the videos of the SWAYAM Prabha DTH TV channels every day, and more than 6.8 lakh people have watched these since the lockdown began.
The National Digital Library was accessed about 1,60,804 times in just one day yesterday, and about 14,51,886 times during the lockdown period, as against about 22,000 daily strikes earlier. The education portals of NCERT like DIKSHA, e-pathasala, National Repository of Open Educational Resources, and the other ICT initiatives like Robotics education (e-Yantra), Open Source Software for Education (FOSSEE), Virtual experiments (Virtual Labs) are also experiencing large access rates, as per a statement released by the HRD Ministry.
Both schools and higher education institutions have started various modes of online classes through various platforms like Skype, Zoom, Google Classroom, Google Hangout. “About 50-65 per cent of students in higher education institutions like central universities, IITs, IIITs, NITs, IISERs are participating in some form of e-learning,” the circular mentioned.
Meanwhile, the online learning platforms faced lots of problems due to slow internet and buffering. To overcome this problem to some extent, teachers are also sharing slides or hand written notes apart from recorded lectures and live sessions so that students with uncertain network access can also get at least some material.
For the students who do not have internet connection, the HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal said that the ministry is promoting learning through the television. He further said that the SWAYAM PRABHA group of 32 DTH channels is devoted to telecasting of high-quality educational programmes on 24X7 basis using the GSAT-15 satellite and the contents are provided by NPTEL, IITs, UGC, CEC, IGNOU, NCERT and NIOS.
The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) is providing education through Gyan Vani (105.6 FM Radio) and GyanDarshan, which is a 24-hour educational channel offering the best of educational programmes for pre-school, primary, secondary and higher secondary students, college/university students, youth seeking career opportunities, homemakers and working professionals.
The country is under a 21-day lockdown since March 25 due to the coronavirus outbreak. Schools and colleges across the country are closed and board exams have been postponed.
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