Use of ICT under a comprehensive initiative called PM eVIDYA by the Department of School education, Ministry of Education (MoE), particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic wins UNESCO’s recognition. Central Institute of Educational Technology (CIET), a constituent unit of National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) under Department of School Education and Literacy (DOSEL), MoE, Government of India has been awarded with the UNESCO’s King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa Prize for the Use of ICT in Education for the year 2021.
This award “recognises innovative approaches in leveraging new technologies to expand educational and lifelong learning opportunities for all, in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Goal four on Education. Established in 2005 with the support of the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Prize rewards individuals and organisations 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 two best projects annually. Each prize winner receives $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 PM eVIDYA has been initiated as part of Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan by MoE 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.
With a mandate to deploy affordable technology to enhance the educational opportunities for all, to augment the quality of education and to bring equity into the educational system in the country and keeping in view the recommendations of NEP-2020, MoE through CIET, NCERT has been working 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, among others; a variety of eCourses for school and teacher education; organising digital events like online quizzes primarily for students and teachers through leveraging online and offline, On-Air technology One Class-One Channel, DIKSHA, ePathshala, NISHTHA, school MOOCs on SWAYAM, among others.
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 PM eVidya program. 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.
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