New Delhi [India], July 22 (ANI): The Education Ministry has taken various steps for providing children remote access to education during the COVID-19 pandemic and these are intended to benefit each category of students including those from SC and ST communities, Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan told the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.
The minister said in a written reply that the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009, mandates the appropriate government to provide free and compulsory elementary education to every child of the age 6 to 14 years in a neighbourhood school.
"During the pandemic, the Ministry of Education has taken various steps for providing children remote access to education, which are available to each category of students including SC/ST irrespective of their region or economic standard," he said.
The minister said that a comprehensive initiative called PMeVidya has been started which aims to unify all efforts related to digital, online, on-air education to enable multi-mode access.
The initiative includes all forms of digital modes to provide wide access - DIKSHA (online), SWAYAM (online), SWAYAM PRABHA (TV), other TV Channels including the use of Doordarshan and All India Radio networks.
He said PRAGYATA guidelines were issued to states and UTs to facilitate continued education through various modes.
The guidelines include situations where internet connectivity is not available or available with very little bandwidth.
These resources are shared through various platforms like television, radio that do not depend on the internet.
He said an Alternate Academic Calendar has been prepared for learning solutions for grade 1 to 12 for both children with and without devices.
"Besides these, community radio, worksheets and textbooks supplied to the residence of learners, home visits by teachers, community classes, toll-free numbers, SMS based requests for audio content, localised radio content for edutainment have been used," he said.
The minister said that steps taken by states and UTs are shown in India Report Digital Education June 2020. (ANI)