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From screen-time to infrastructure issues, MHRD issues guidelines for digital learning

This new rule-book is a result of discussions between the ministry and respective representatives from the states and union territories held on June 8 and has guidelines for states, schools, teachers, parents and students.

By: Education Desk | New Delhi |
June 16, 2020 12:05:20 pm
online classes, digital education, school reopen, digital handbook, screentime, e education, ministry of HRD, education news. A mother helps her kid in taking online classes through a smartphone in Kashmir’s Bandipora during the lockdown. (Express Photo by Shuaib Masoodi)

The Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) has released ‘Pragyata’ — extensive guidelines for digital education for states, schools, teachers, parents, and students. This new rule-book is a result of discussions between the ministry and respective representatives from the states and union territories held on June 8.

Stating that it is unclear till when there will be need for online teaching, the HRD Ministry has asked states to design and develop need-based strategies to create appropriate digital learning environments, adopt the alternative academic calendar developed by NCERT, run educational content through state-specific tv, radio and other means of communication. The ministry has also asked the state to “curate, develop and use digital resources and tools including Open and Free resources”.

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Schools have been asked to design alternative timetables without replicating the face-to-face mode and facilitate availability and access to digital infrastructure for their teachers. Teachers have been asked to limit the screen time to 30 minutes on alternative days for pre-primary and two sessions of 20-45 minutes per day for elementary and four sessions of 30-45 minutes for secondary and higher secondary level students.

The ministry has also shared guidelines for parents and students on healthy online habits, postures while learning digitally and being secure and safe in cyberspace.

Read | How will the schools function post lockdown? HRD Minister answers

Schools have been shut since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic and classes have been running digitally. For students in remote areas, lessons are also being provided through radio and TV.

Diksha has CBSE, NCERT, and state-board syllabus from classes 1 to 12; it is available on the website as well as mobile-based app. For NCERT, classes 1 to 12 syllabus is also available on E-pathshala and National Repository of Open Educational Resources (NROER). Swayam, an online learning platform by the Ministry of HRD, has courses for students in classes 9 to 12 and higher. Swayam Prabha also imparts classes for NIOS students in classes 9 to 12, as per the ministry.

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