President Pranab Mukherjee launched the Swayam and Swayam Prabha platforms to facilitate imparting education to all. The Swayam program offers digital classrooms with the help of internet and satellite connectivity to the remotest corners in the country. Swayam is essentially a portal which has been formulated as a solution to the problem of difficult access to physical educational infrastructure and teachers along with study material and textbooks. Swayam will provide online study material to students free of cost and the courses will be taught via digital classrooms.
The program of Human Resource Development Ministry spells out as Study Webs of Active-Learning for Young Aspiring Minds (SWAYAM). It offers courses ranging into hundreds and they are those which are taught at school, college and university level. The program will also likely rope in foreign teachers for some courses.
Furthermore, it can easily be integrated into one’s formal traditional education. The system allows the transfer of credits that a college student earns from a course directly into their academic records. It also provides courses of vocational nature and also for those who want to study while continuing with their jobs. All courses are free in Swayam and the fee is only for issuing of a certificate.
In the initial phase, courses will be offered by IITs Bombay, Madras, Kanpur, Guwahati, Delhi, IGNOU, University of Delhi, Jawahar Lal Nehru University, IIM Bangalore, IIM Calcutta, Indian Institute of Science, NCERT etc. The courses offered are from school to post-graduate level.
The broad categories of courses offered are engineering, management, science, arts and recreation, mathematics, languages, general studies, humanities, library sciences, energy, sustainable development, social science etc. The government expects at least 1 crore students to enroll in the initial 2-3 years.
The program also provides certification. If a student wants to get certification for course studies, one needs to register for it and the certification process will be carried out after the completion of the course. The certificate will be provided for a “nominal fee” as per the Swayam website.
The program takes digital education and satellite technology to a new paradigm in the country. Students across the country will be able to make use of the service and any queries that they have will apparently be clarified in real time to maintain a classroom-like environment.
The program will make available quality teachers to pupils and multi-language study material including in regional languages to get them started quickly. The program is of a Massive Open Online Learning format and seeks to provide the best teachers for students across the country with ICT solutions to bridge the gap between urban and rural education.
A total 32 Swayam Prabha DTH channels launched along Swayam portal seek to help students living in remote areas who don’t have proper connectivity to IT services.
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