The Union Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ on Tuesday released Pragyata guidelines for digital learning of students in the national capital through online medium. The guidelines include eight steps of online education–Plan, Review, Arrange, Guide, Yak(talk), Assign, Track, Appreciate. These steps guide the planning and implementation of digital education step by step with examples.
PLAN: Lesson Plan for the following is prepared by the teacher in great details
REVIEW: Teacher conducts a brief survey with the children via mobile about their access to digital devices and finds that:1) 15 Households have a Television, Smartphone with internet connectivity and also a Laptop; 2. 10 Households have a Smartphone with internet connectivity and a Television but no Laptop; 3. 4 Households have a basic mobile; 4. 1 Household does not have even a mobile
• After this survey teacher may make arrangements in the following manner.
• Giving immediate attention to children belonging to households at (c) and (d). For children belonging to households at (c), teachers may plan calls early morning on the mobile as there is a possibility that the parent who will go out for work may
take the mobile along with him/her.
• Teachers select a theme (Example – a theme from EVS, i.e. family)
• So, she/he will call the parent or student and ask them to discuss with their family members (their age, what work they do, etc.).
• For a child belonging to a household at (d), teachers may explore contacting them via the child’s friends. After getting the contact of a student residing nearby, the teacher may explore communication channels with the household at (d) such as identifying his/her accessibility to a mobile belonging to a neighbor. The teacher will guide the parents, child or guardians.
• For children belonging to households at (a) and (b), she may plan to call them via Google Hangout or WhatsApp calls, etc. Teachers may create three groups of eight students each, and guide on the same theme – ‘family’ by asking them to discuss and make a chart as discussed above.
• Teachers may also ask parents to show a video on the theme ‘family’ to their children and encourage them to discuss it. This may be an individual activity, wherein parents may also participate and may be motivated to discuss and talk to their children about
• Teachers will arrange doubt clearing sessions and remain available at pre-specified times to talk to the learners.
• She/he will guide the child to draw portraits of her/his family members, write her/his relationship with them, prepare a family tree, list their work and also write one thing about them that they like.
• Learning of a language may also be made an integrated part of this activity, wherein students may be asked to write a poem on their family, or share an experience from within the family, etc.
• The chart or poster or datasheet that children have made may be sent to teachers through email or WhatsApp by the parents.
• Teachers will track the progress of students on each of the assignments and give constructive feedback to the learners.
• Teachers need to attend to each and every group for a few minutes. Teachers need to appreciate children and parents by sending some good words on the completion of the assignment.
• This will sustain the interest and motivation of children and parents both. Teachers will also inform parents and students that participating in this activity has made them progress as per the learning outcome already identified for the above class
Speaking on the occasion, Pokhriyal said that COVID-19 pandemic has led to the closure of schools and has impacted over 240 million children of the country who are enrolled in schools, adding that the extended school closures may cause loss of learning. He said that to mitigate the impact of the pandemic, schools will not only have to remodel and reimagine the way teaching and learning have happened so far but will also need to introduce a suitable method of delivering quality education through a healthy mix of schooling at home and schooling at school.
The 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. He added that these guidelines on Digital/ Online Education provide a roadmap or pointers for carrying forward online education to enhance the quality of education.
He 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 an alternative academic calendar of NCERT, for both, learners having access to digital devices and learners having limited or no access.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister of State for HRD Sanjay Dhotre said that the Pragyata guidelines have been prepared by the Ministry of HRD to ensure the safety and academic welfare of the students. He said that 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 students, teachers, parents, heads and other stakeholders to learn online safety practices. Dhotre also lauded the efforts of the Ministry to bring out Pragyata guidelines which will provide a safe and secure digital learning environment.
The guidelines outline suggestions for administrators, school heads, teachers, parents and students in the following areas:
Need assessment; Concerns while planning online and digital education like duration, screen time, inclusiveness, balanced online and offline activities etc level-wise; Modalities of intervention including resource curation, level-wise delivery etc.; Physical, mental health and wellbeing during digital education; Cybersafety and ethical practices including precautions and measures for maintaining cyber safety; and Collaboration and convergence with various initiatives.
These guidelines for school heads and teachers describe the need assessment, planning and steps to implement digital education while ensuring cyber safety and privacy measures. It also outlines the support to be provided to students with special needs. The main emphasis is on balanced online and offline activities keeping the screen time as an essential parameter in accordance with the level of students.
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 dos and don’ts regarding ergonomics and cyber safety.
The guidelines also emphasize 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 organization and National level organizations to join hands for a change that will sustain post-COVID-19 also.