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Pokhriyal releases PRAGYATA guidelines on Digital Education

Pokhriyal releases PRAGYATA guidelines on Digital Education

New Delhi, July 14 (UNI) The Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) on Tuesday announced guidelines for online classes by schools and recommended that online classes for pre-primary students should not exceed more than 30 minutes

HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank', who released the PRAGYATA guidelines on Digital Education through online medium here, said the recommended screen time for pre Primary class is not more than 30 minutes; for Classes 1 to 8 online synchronous learning may be undertaken for not more than two sessions of 30-45 minutes each on the days the states/UTs decide to have online classes for primary sections.

For Classes 9 to 12, learning may be undertaken for not more than four sessions of 30-45 minutes each on the days as decided by states/UTs.

He said to mitigate the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, schools will not only have to remodel and reimagine the way teaching and learning have happened so far by delivering quality education through a healthy mix of schooling at home and schooling at school.

The Covid-19 pandemic had led to closure of schools and impacted more than 240 million children of the country who were enrolled in schools. Extended school closures may cause loss of learning.

The PRAGYATA guidelines have been developed from the perspective of learners, with a focus on online/blended/digital education for students who are at present at home due to lockdown, he said and added that these guidelines on digital/online education provide a roadmap or pointers for carrying forward online education to enhance the quality of education.

Dr Pokhriyal highlighted that the guidelines will be relevant and useful for a diverse set of stakeholders including school heads, teachers, parents, teacher educators and students as they stress upon the use of alternative academic calendar of NCERT, for both, learners having access to digital devices and learners having limited or no access.

The PRAGYATA guidelines include eight steps of online/digital learning that is, Plan- Review- Arrange- Guide- Yak(talk)- Assign- Track- Appreciate. These steps guide the planning and implementation of digital education step by step with examples.

Minister of State for HRD Sanjay Dhotre, who was also present through online medium, said online education has filled a lot of gaps during the pandemic but utmost care has to be taken while using digital technologies to educate the students. He hoped that these guidelines will help all to learn online safety practices and lauded the efforts of the Ministry to bring out PRAGYATA guidelines which will provide a safe and secure digital learning environment.

The guidelines outlines suggestions including on concerns while planning online and digital education like duration, screen time, inclusiveness, balanced online and offline activities level wise, modalities of intervention and physical, mental health and wellbeing during digital education as also cyber safety and ethical practices.

For parents, the guideline helps to understand the need for physical, mental health and wellbeing along with the cyber safety measures for children at home. Guidelines for physical health and mental wellness is stressed across the guidelines for all stakeholders measures so that children do not get overly stretched or stressed, or get affected negatively (postural defects, ophthalmic issues, and other physical problems) owing to prolonged use of digital devices. Also it provides sufficient Do’s and Don’ts regarding ergonomics and cyber safety.

The guidelines also emphasise the need to unify all efforts related to digital/ online/on-air education, benefitting school going children across the country. The initiative includes DIKSHA, SWAYAM Prabha, SWAYAM MOOCS, Radio Vahini, Shiksha Vaani, Special content for children with special needs and ITPAL. In a country like India characterized by multifarious diversity, switching over to digital modes of education needs various States/ UTs level organisation and National level organisations to join hands for a change that will sustain post-COVID-19 also, an official release here said.

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