Union HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ on Tuesday virtually released PRAGYATA guidelines on digital education in New Delhi.

Speaking on the occasion, HRD minister Pokhriyal said COVID19 pandemic has led to closure of schools and has impacted over 240 million children of the country who are enrolled in schools.

The Union minister of state for HRD, Sanjay Dhotre, was also present at the event.

Pokhriyal stated that the extended school closures may cause loss of learning.

To mitigate the impact of the pandemic, schools will not only have to remodel and re-imagine the way teaching and learning have happened so far but will need to introduce a suitable method of delivering quality education through a healthy mix of schooling at home and school, he said.

The HRD minister informed that PRAGYATA guidelines have been developed from the perspective of learners, with a focus on online/blended/digital education for students who are presently at home due to lockdown, the ministry said.

He added that these guidelines on digital or online education provide a roadmap or pointers for carrying forward online education to enhance the quality of education, the HRD ministry said.

The Union minister highlighted that the guidelines will be relevant and useful for a diverse set of stakeholders including school heads, teachers, parents, teacher educators and students.

The guidelines 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.

Speaking on the occasion, Dhotre said the PRAGYATA guidelines have been prepared by the HRD ministry to ensure the safety and academic welfare of the students.

He said the online education has filled lot of gaps during the pandemic but utmost care has to be taken while using digital technologies to educate the students.

Dhotre hoped these guidelines will help students, teachers, parents, heads and other stakeholders to learn online safety practices, the ministry said.

The guidelines outline suggestions for administrators, school heads, teachers, parents, and students in the following areas:  1. Need assessment; 2. Concerns while planning online and digital education like duration, screen time, inclusiveness, balanced online and offline activities, etc level-wise; 3. Modalities of intervention including resource curation, level-wise delivery, etc.; 4. Physical, mental health, and wellbeing during digital education; 5. Cyber safety and ethical practices including precautions and measures for maintaining cyber safety and 6. Collaboration and convergence with various initiatives.

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