Union HRD Minister Launches E-Pathshala, Saransh, Shaala Siddhi Portals/Mobile APPSMinistry of HRD Organizes National Conference on ICT in School Education: The Union HRD Minister Smt Smriti Irani while speaking at the edNEXT, - National Conference on ICT in School Education at New Delhi today said that use of ICT will strengthen school education system. She also said that Education Ministers of certain States are working to reduce burden of exams on students.
Earlier the Minister appreciated the efforts put in by all the State Education Ministers in achieving hundred per cent result in constructing separate toilet for boys and girls in schools during a period of one year. This she said was the outcome of the announcement made by the Prime Minister of India on August 15 last year. The HRD Minister also felicitated all state education ministers for their efforts in fulfilling Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s vision of having toilets in each government school under Swachh Bharat Swachh Vidyalaya campaign.
The Minister also elaborated upon the paradigm shift where the stake holders were also asked to participate in the use of mobile apps tools and to find out the utility of these apps. Further, keeping in view the need to recognise the ICT initiatives being taken in the education sector, the HRD Minister made a clarion call to every citizen to come forward and contribute towards technology innovation for the benefit of school education. She called upon the States to look into the issue of nutritional value of mid-day meal and prepare their own menu for Mid Day Meal keeping in mind the local climate and conditions.
Prof. Ram Shankar Katheria, Minister of State for HRD said that Prime Minister Shri Modi’s new initiative of Digital India will go a long way in ameliorating the prevailing poor conditions of our villages. He said that concerted efforts of people across the country can find solution to varied problems. He stressed upon the need of digitalisation in school education.
The event showcased various ICT based initiatives in School Education. During the Conference, e-Pathshala, Saaransh, and National Programme on School Standards and Evaluation Framework (Shala Siddhi) were launched. All these are web portal/ mobile app. Further, Shala Darpan, MDM-IVRS and Ekta project from Alwar, Rajasthan were also show-cased. Students at the event shared their excitement about these apps which promise to make learning more interesting, school bags lighter and books available on the go.
E-Pathshala: a web portal which hosts educational resources for Students, Teachers, Parents, researchers and educators, is available through especially developed mobile app interface on Android, IOS and windows platforms for wider access and contains textbooks and other e-books as E-Pub 3.0 and Flipbooks in English, Hindi and Urdu.
As a part of the Digital India Campaign, the Ministry of HRD has launched ‘e-pathshala’ which is a single point repository of e-resources containing, NCERT text-books and various other learning resources. CBSE prescribes textbooks published by National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) for classes IX to XII. For classes I to VIII, CBSE although approves syllabus as per pattern of syllabus given by NCERT, it does not prescribe any textbooks for these classes. The National Curriculum Framework, 2005 (NCF) stipulates that region specific books take care of the local context, culture and resources and therefore different books for different regions better relate to the daily lives of the local students. CBSE has directed all its affiliated schools on July 20th, 2015 that prescribing too many textbooks and coercing parents and children to buy them is an unhealthy practice and appropriate action will be taken against the erring schools if any such complaint is received. As regards schools forcing students/parents to buy books from private publishers of their choice, Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has not received any substantiated report in this regard.
The digital India campaigns has promoted extensive use of ICTs in the teaching learning process. The ePathshala, a joint initiative of Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Govt. of India and National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has been developed for showcasing and disseminating all educational e-resources including textbooks, audio, video, periodicals, and a variety of other print and non-print materials. Students, Teachers, Educators and Parents can access eBooks through multiple technology platform that is mobile phones and tablets (as epub) and from the web through laptops and desktops (as Flipbook). ePathshala also allows user to carry us many books as their device supports. Features of these books allow users to pinch, select, zoom, bookmark, highlight, navigate,share and make notes digitally.
Shaala Siddhi is a comprehensive instrument for school evaluation which enables the schools to evaluate their performance in more focused and strategic manner to facilitate them to make professional judgement for continuous improvement. The web-portal of the framework will help all schools to assess themselves and the results can be seen by all enabling them to provide feedback. The initiative has already been successfully piloted in four districts of Tamil Nadu.
Saransh is a tool which allows the schools to identify areas of improvement in students, teachers and curriculum to facilitate and implement change. The platform is presently available for classes 9th to 12th and provides a comprehensive overview of standard 10th performance since 2007 and standard 12th performance since 2009 till the current academic session. Presently, results of CBSE are available on this portal/app.
The event also showcased other ICT initiatives including the IVR (Interactive Voice Response) system to monitor the daily implementation of Mid Day Meal scheme and Shaala Darpan, an integrated platform to address all academic and administrative requirements of schools, teachers, parents and students.
The Conference was also attended by Secretary, Department of School Education and Literacy, Shri Subhash Chand Khuntia, Additional Secretary and other senior officers of Ministry of HRD, State Education Ministers, Education Secretaries, and teachers and students from various schools.