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India


V-P urges pvt sector to chip in with affordable technology to close digital gap

V-P urges pvt sector to chip in with affordable technology to close digital gap

New Delhi, Jun 30 (UNI) Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday called for the private sector to chip in and bridge the digital divide to achieve universal primary education and ensure equitable secondary and higher education.

Stating that technology opens up new possibilities but also makes one realise the big digital divide in society, he pointed out that there were many children who did not have access to digital devices. "We will have to address the issue of this wide gap," the Vice-President said while releasing the book, 'Future of Education-Nine Megatrends' virtually through a video-conference.

Many parents in India still could not afford digital devices, he said, adding that bridging the digital divide was too big and complex for the government alone to accomplish the task and urged the private sector, especially educational technology firms to contextualise the products at affordable prices as per the needs of learners. "This is your time to make a momentous contribution to nation building and to securing a bright future for all our children," he added.

To make technology accessible and affordable, the Vice-President observed that a large number of students were impacted due to the lockdown as they found it hard to study online. Many of them needed hand holding to shift from offline to online and require proper training to pursue education through online modes.

Quoting the Prime Minister, the Vice-President said in future "online should be main line, so that there is no need for any line." He appealed to all stakeholders to follow the PM’s three word mantra of 'Reform, Perform and Transform' to create a better future.

With educational institutions going digital in the context of the pandemic, Mr Naidu said students and teachers were connecting through cloud-based platforms to communicate, share work, and complete projects.

“Examinations are also being conducted online”, he added.

Noting that Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, and Augmented Reality will enter classrooms more rapidly, Mr Naidu said this would transform the way teachers teach and students learn.

Urging teachers to impart teaching in tune with the changing requirements, he said that students can access machines anytime from anywhere in the wake of online laboratories. "The teacher now plays the role of a facilitator, guide, counselor, coach and many a time that of a friend to the student," he added, an official release here said.

Observing that the huge demographic advantage was waiting to be converted into a demographic dividend, the Vice-President said, "We should not miss this opportunity. We should enhance access to knowledge and skills to all children so that each one of them realises his or her innate potential”.

Highlighting the importance of value-based education, he called for developing a model of education that reflects Indian culture and ethos. "We need to inculcate cultural, moral, ethical and spiritual values among children," he added.

The book has been brought out by ICT Academy, a non-profit society and an initiative of the Government of India and the state governments.

UNI SD SB 1211

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