New Delhi: The use of information and communications technology (ICT), under a comprehensive initiative called PM eVIDYA by the Department of School Education, Ministry of Education, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, won UNESCO’s recognition.
The PM eVIDYA was initiated as part of Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan by the Ministry of Education on May 17, 2020, which unifies all efforts related to digital/online/on-air education to enable multi-mode access for imparting education by using technology to minimise learning losses.
Education Ministry in a statement said that the Central Institute of Educational Technology (CIET), a constituent unit of the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) under the Department of School Education and Literacy (DOSEL), Ministry of Education (MoE), Government of India has been awarded the UNESCO’s King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa Prize for the Use of ICT in Education for the year 2021.
This award recognizes innovative approaches to leveraging new technologies to expand educational and lifelong learning opportunities for all, in line with the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development and its goal 4 on Education.
Established in 2005 with the support of the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Prize rewards individuals and organizations that are implementing outstanding projects and promoting the creative use of technologies to enhance learning, teaching and overall educational performance in the digital age.
An international Jury selects the two best projects annually. Each prize winner receives USD 25,000, a medal and a diploma during a ceremony at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris”, which this year will be held on June 24, 2022, the Ministry said.
With a mandate to deploy affordable technology to enhance the educational opportunities for all, augment the quality of education and bring equity into the educational system in the country and keeping in view the recommendations of NEP-2020, the Ministry of Education through CIET, NCERT has been working tirelessly and meticulously in designing, developing and disseminating a large number of eBooks, eContent – audios, videos, interactives, augmented reality contents, Indian Sign Language (ISL) videos, audiobooks, talking books, etc.; a variety of eCourses for school and teacher education; organizing digital events like online quizzes primarily for students and teachers through leveraging Online/Offline, On-Air technology One Class-One Channel, DIKSHA, ePathshala, NISHTHA, school MOOCs on SWAYAM, etc.
To further the objectives of NEP and Samagra Shiksha and address the aforementioned pillars, PM eVidya- a comprehensive initiative which unifies all efforts and provides multi-mode access to digital/online/on-air education was launched in May 2020.
The CIET was proactive in taking learning to the doorsteps of the children through the extensive, resilient, ethical, and coherent use of 12 PM eVidya DTH TV channels and nearly 397 radio stations, including community radio stations under the PM eVidya programme.
These efforts were especially helpful in pandemic situations, when schools were closed, in reaching out to students. These efforts helped in arresting the learning hiatus to a large extent.