The Delhi University has launched an integrated online education programme to unify online teaching-learning across all colleges and departments. The programme is seen as preparation for beginning the next semester in the online format.
Since the lockdown, Delhi University has asked colleges and departments to conduct online classes.
However, this was conducted with limited success, with The Indian Express reporting that students have complained of irregular classes, lack of internet and device access, and lack of online study materials in the Hindi medium and for visually impaired students, among other problems.
This week, DU launched a “OneDU flagship programme” with the stated aim to “augment and streamline online education by facilitating e-learning support through the Delhi University Computer Centre by creating an integrated online platform and networking resources and facilities for use by all the university departments, centres, colleges and other affiliated bodies…”
Apart from “integrating and unifying” online teaching activities on one platform, a stated aim of the programme is also to facilitate support structures to augment online education and generate and disseminate e-resources.
However, move has drawn criticism.
“We believe that most crucial is the development of the infrastructural facilities. In the case of online classes, this includes the availability of equipment and stable Internet connection, the availability of printed resources where internet is inaccessible, etc. In the absence of such infrastructure facilities available to all, students from socially and economically backward sections will be at the disadvantaged point. Thus, introduction of any such technological innovation without proper preparations addressing the digital divide is bound to be discriminatory… The University must present before the student community the exact data regarding accessibility of laptops, Internet or other provisions; and follow it up with concrete remedial measures, before moving ahead with any such plan,” read a statement by the SFI’s DU chapter.
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