New Delhi: Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank on Monday (May 17, 2021) held a meeting with School Education Secretaries of all states and UTs to discuss the various measures adopted for the management of the education system during COVID-19.
The issue of the CBSE Class 12 Board Exam 2021 was also discussed, as per the PTI news agency.
In the video conferencing meeting, Pokhriyal also talked about the different strategies adopted for online and offline learning in schools so far and the way forward.
I met State Education Secretaries to review the #COVID situation, online education, and work around NEP. Education is the top priority and as instructed by the Government of India, a COVID action plan to ensure uninterrupted education is required. pic.twitter.com/O3tx9NWjwY
— Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank (@DrRPNishank) May 17, 2021
According to the Ministry of Education, this was the biggest meeting held on School Education during the pandemic.
Key points from the meeting:
— Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank discussed the issue of the pending class 12 board exams. He sought suggestions from states in this regard. Earlier on April 14, the Education Ministry had postponed the CBSE board exam of Class 12 due to the COVID-19 situation in the country. The exams were scheduled to begin from May 4. “To conduct the Board Exams for Class XII, the situation will be reviewed on June 1 by the Board,” the Education Ministry said.
— Pokhriyal said that the Government is committed to ensure the safety and academic welfare of students.
— Pokhriyal in the meeting stated that despite the pandemic, the Centre and the states, as well as agencies like the National Testing Agency (NTA), have managed to deliver education online as well as conduct public exams such as JEE and NEET-UG.
— The Education Minister said that their efforts and commitment ensured the continuance of education for 240 million students enrolled in their schools and colleges. “We have been successful in transforming our homes into classrooms in these unprecedented times. We have also set an example of ensuring that no student faced a year loss,” he said.
— Pokhriyal said that the second wave has forced the education institutions to remain close for a longer period. “While we have ensured that students are learning at home through various initiatives, we should focus on the needs of the aspirational districts where there is a digital gap so that we can empower the local bodies, NGOs and the parents and teachers,” he added.
— The Minister emphasized the need to continue the coherent efforts made by the states and UTs in 2020 and underscored the importance of reaching out to the most vulnerable and marginalized children in this pandemic period.
— Pokhriyal stated that the Department has taken up several initiatives in 2020-21 for facilitating continuous learning during the pandemic. These include — expansion of DIKSHA under PM eVIDYA; DTH TV channels under the bouquet of SWAYAM PRABHA TV channels; launch of online NISHTHA training for teachers at DIKSHA; Launch of Manodarpan to cater to the socio-emotional and psychological needs of the students, etc.
— He informed that several other initiatives have also been taken to reach out to children without access to digital education.
— Union Education Minister underlined the importance of involving various stakeholders for effective implementation of the National Education Policy 2020.
— Pokhriyal noted all the problems and suggestions made by the States and them for their commendable work in the field of education. He assured them that the Ministry will extend its full support in this difficult time.
Following suggestions were emerged during the meeting:
— ‘Bharat net’ to connect all the schools.
— Provide digital devices to secondary school students.
— To ensure the mental wellness of students and teachers, the ‘Manodarpan’ portal needs to be used effectively.
— Grief session to be arranged at required places.
(With agency inputs)