Digital Education in India | UPSC Notes

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Digital Education India upsc notes

Digital Education

  • It is remotely undertaken teaching on Digital platforms
  • COVID lockdown has given distinctive rise to it.

Benefits—    

  • Less intimidating— Many student aren’t comfortable speaking in classroom env 
  • Focus on ideas— Eliminates physical judgments that can cloud rational discussion
  • Self-paced (Learning at their own pace) & Student-centred learning—Flexibility to plan schedule
  • Solves problem of teacher scarcity
  • Makes it accessible for students of various disabilities & challenges 
  • 24*7 learning, E-books 
  • Can be critical in India’s journey towards Digitally empowered society & knowledge economy
  • Can usher a new model of connected teaching—links teachers to students & to professional content, resources & systems
  • Flipped Classroom— Students watch lecture videos as homework & discussion is carried on them in class-time by teachers—EdtechReview says—It can enhance student performance
  • Interactive Gamification—to make Edu more engaging & fun.
  • Active learner rather than passive listener

Issues— 

  • Reinforce a top-down teacher-to-student directionality of learning— w/o shared space to discuss, learning reduce to just gathering information
  • Student not participant but only consumer of content
  • Social Isolation due to absence of human communication
  • Lack of communicational skill dev

Challenges 

  • Antithesis to equity & inclusion —Due to Digital inequality / Divide—
  1. NSS 2017-18 & NSO report 2020— 
  • only 23.8% households have internet access
  • Gender divide— 16% women had access, Men— 36%—thus transitions to e-learning may compound the gender gap in edu.
  • Rural-urban divide—R (15%), U (42%) 
  • lack of Digital familiarity
  1. REMOTE LEARNING REACHABILITY REPORT (UNICEF)—only 24% Indian households have internet connections to access e-education  
  2. Student Diversity—Largely supports only English  (not regional lang—Social exclusion & academic non integration)—Lack of vernacular content
  3. Lack of separate space for learning
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Thus it exacerbates inequality & S-E backwardness due to information poverty, lack of infra, lack of digital literacy

  • Lack of Practical Learning— Traditional classroom as social space are indispensable
  • Indequate Teacher Training     
  • Logistical Issues—Requires uninterrupted broadband connectivity
  • cyber security—“ZOOM-BOMBING”- hacking of e-class
  • Digitally unequipped Govt schools

Govt steps— 

  • SWAYAM Prabha    
  • NEP 2020— Est of National Edu Tech Forum for advising inst on tech use, capacity building & providing directions for research & innovation
  • VidyaDaan 2.0–Individuals & org  can contribute to e-learning in education domain.
  • e-Paathshaala.
  • PRAGYATA guidelines on Digital Edu
  • DIKSHA  portal provides—supplementary learning material for Students and for upgrading the skills of teachers.
  • PM eVIDYA—Aprog for multi-mode access to digital/online edu

Conclusion

  • Opportunities provided  by new technology can act as potential sources for promoting egalitarianism in education if access of tech is democratised & values of inclusion are institutionalised.
  • IT cannot be seen as a silver bullet to remedy all ills in edu system, rather can be used in a balanced manner to Ensure that learning never stops 
  • Should supplement & not substitute classroom education

Way forward

  • Address Digital divide— for inclusive e-learning
  • Regional languages 
  • Est quality assurance mechanisms & quality benchmark for online learning 
  • Flipped Classroom—Students watch lecture videos as homework & discussion on them in class-time by teachers.
  • REMOTE LEARNING REACHABILITY REPORT (UNICEF)— Democratize access to safe & secure remote learning for all.   
  • Hybrid model needed—Online edu cannot replace Chalk & talk methodology

Stuff

  • Classroom offers social space for Social cohesion, eliminating discrimination, stage fear etc
  • Online education has a differentiated impact across edu inst & student communities.
  • This could also dilute norms of evaluation, whereby a “good lecture” might mean merely a lecture which “streams seamlessly, without buffering”.
  • Essay Intro— For the child in urban HP, where Internet penetration is higher than 70%, it likely means online schooling, Zoom classes & digital textbooks. For the child in rural Odisha, where less than 6% of households have Internet facilities, such options are out of the question. 
  • Delhi High Court has directed both private and government schools in Delhi to provide gadgets and Internet packages free of cost to poor students for attending online classes.
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Impact of COvid-19 on education

Closure Of Schools

Denied FR to quality, inclusive and safe education.

  • Digital Divide
  • Increase Dropouts
  • Potential unemployment for recent graduates
  • Denial of Food
  • Unsupportive Family—Due to limited edu + scarce resources at their disposal.
  • Gender Discrimination—Could be forced into early marriage, pregnancies
  • Educational apartheid