E- Learning -A Ray of Hope for Students during Lockdown
| Madhu Kumari, Thought Leader, Patna - 28 Apr 2020

ALSO CHECK: List of 05 online learning websites and resource to study for free

By Madhu Kumari

The corona virus pandemic and the precautionary lockdown has impacted more than 157 crore students across 191 countries and over 34 crore students in India, more than America's population, according to the UNESCO report.

India's nationwide coronavirus lockdown, the biggest in the world, where 1.3 billion people live, was started at midnight on March 25 and extended until at least May 3, 2020 by the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi. He did it to save the lives of students, who are our biggest treasure. Safety of students and teachers is obviously of utmost importance to the government.

However, since 90 percent of schools and colleges across the world including India are still facing closure, educational institutes around the globe are shifting their operations to online learning in the wake of this emergency situation.

Since the unexpected development emerging out of COVID19 has created a massive void in the education system, the central and state governments in India are trying their best to promote e-learning and online education.

The online education is not a new concept in India. Evolved in 2002 – 2003, the Digital Learning, with everyday emerging new innovative technologies, has been spreading its wing to the education sector since last two decades.

The typical classroom which was once characterized by boring hour-long sessions now transforms into an interesting, fun-filled environment. Digital education made life easier for both, students and educators. 

The process of E-learning was going on in its own speed. But the worldwide closure of educational institutions around the world, in an attempt to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, impacting millions of additional learners, has given a new boost up to Online Education globally.

India's top educational institutions such as the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IIT-D), Delhi University (DU), Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI), Netaji Subhas Technology University (NSIT), and more have put pause on their offline operations and switched to digital teaching-learning method.

On April 22, 2020 The Union Human Resource Development Minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ e-launched VidyaDaan 2.0 program on DIKSHA platform to invite e-learning content contributions from individuals, teachers, educationists, subject experts, schools, government and non-government organisations for better and enhanced teaching and learning.

Several schools, colleges and universities in India have started online classes so that students can continue their education from home and to bridge the education gap created due to schools being closed due to the Covid-19 lockdown. Here's how a few of them are making it work. 

Jain University (deemed University), along with its industry partners, have created online applications and industry programs for collaborative projects for students. The University has rolled out a combination of online platforms like Google Classroom and Google Hangouts along with other learning methodologies.

Galgotias University and Manipal University started online classes to ensure effective online learning for its students.

Global Indian International School (GIIS) providing online classes to 18000 students in India and 21 campuses which is situated abroad like Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, and UAE.

Kota coaching industry has gone digital after sending students to their homes. After sending students home Kota’s coaching industry goes wireless and now it carries out online courses and send out study content or material in digital formats, as the national shutdown caused by Covid-19 has impeded offline learning.

Manav Rachna Group providing e-learning options to their 12 schools, two universities, and dental college for better teaching-learning.

GD Goenka School has started the digital classes from 1st April, 2020 pre-nursery to class 12 students share online education experience.

ASUS (Taiwan-based multinational computer and phone hardware and electronics company) India to roll out Back to School campaign for e-learning courses. ASUS India is all set to roll out the ‘Back to School’, e-learning courses for students aged 10-18, from April 20 – May 31.

iDreamCareer (iDC), India’s multilingual career solution and guidance platform, has launched “Industry connect hub” – a platform to guide students with career choices online besides mentoring them.

Some initiatives for digital learning for teachers and students by the Government of India during the pandemic are listed below:

The Central Board of Secondary Education has begun online fitness classes by experts and cover basic exercises, nutrition, yoga and meditation, and boosting immunity for school students The live classes were held through YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. It will help in developing positive mood and energy. The students will stay healthy and happy and cultivate a sustainable and active life.

One of promising start-ups launched e-Delta Online learning which is also appreciated by NITI Aayog for its earlier version, has added Life skill, Social skill and Gender sensitivity and Hygiene as one of the modules in its offering along with the online packages from class VI to class XII on CBSE syllabus. Such responsible initiatives are laudable as they are contributing in value based education

All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) launched an e-learning portal Enhancement in Learning with Improvement in Skills (ELIS) to foster digital learning and support the student community across the country. Students and teachers can access the ELIS platform at free.aicte-india.org.

The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has launched a web-portal YUKTI - Young India Combating COVID with Knowledge, Technology and Innovation.  It invited the students, teachers and educationists across the country to participate in an online campaign ‘Bharat Padhe Online’ aimed at boosting e-learning and online education in India. Students and teachers are the main target audience. The students can share what is lacking in the existing online platforms and how can they be made more engaging.

In partnership with Forge and InnovationCuris, the innovation department of the MHRD and AICTE launched a mega online challenge -- Samadhan -- to assess the aptitude of students to innovate.

Here is a list of 05 online learning websites and resource provided by the HRD Ministry to study for free:

1.   SWAYAM Online Courses: It provides access to teaching-learning resources. On SWAYAM network, these services were distributed earlier. Students or learners who have enrolled in the January 2020 semester on SWAYAM (swayam.gov.in) will continue their studying as normal.

2.   e-PG Pathshala: It hosts high quality, curriculum-based, interactive e-content containing 23,000 modules (e-text and video) in 70 Post Graduate disciplines of social sciences, arts, fine arts and humanities, natural & mathematical sciences.

3.   e-Content courseware in UG subjects: e-Content courseware in 87 Undergraduate courses with about 24,110 e-content modules is available on the CEC website at http://cec.nic.in/.

4.   National Digital Library: It is a digital archive with a huge amount of academic material in various formats and offers interface support to leading Indian languages for all academic levels including researchers and lifelong learners, all majors, all common types of access devices and learners with different abilities.

5.    Vidwan: It is a database of experts which provides information about experts to peers, prospective collaborators, funding agencies policymakers and research scholar in the country. Faculty members are requested to register on the Vidwan portal to help expand the database of experts.

Image courtesy – Hindu Business line / E Delta / MHRD Website / SWAYAM website / HRD Minister’s Twitter handle 


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