NEW DELHI — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Sept. 7, inaugurated the country’s “Shikshak Parv (teacher’s festival)”— an initiative for accessible education— conclave through a video conference.
The prime minister of India launched multiple critical initiatives in the education sector during the event. Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Union Minister of State for Education Jitin Prasada were present.
“Shikshak Parv-2021” theme is “Quality and Sustainable Schools: Learnings from Schools in India.” Its celebration will encourage innovative practices to ensure continuity of education at all levels and improve quality, inclusive practices, and sustainability in the schools across the country.
“It is our endeavor to create a modern educational system at par with global standards and where the learning process is constantly redefined and redesigned to match global best practices,” said Narendra Modi in a tweet.
Modi launched “Indian Sign Language Dictionary (audio and text embedded sign language video for the hearing impaired, in conformity with Universal Design of Learning),” “Talking Books (audiobooks for the visually impaired),” “School Quality Assurance and Assessment Framework” of Central Board of Secondary Education, NISHTHA teachers’ training program for National Initiative for Proficiency in Reading with Understanding and Numeracy or NIPUN Bharat and Vidyanjali portal (for facilitating education volunteers/ donors/ CSR contributors for school development).
“Another step for empowering hearing impaired students,” said the Ministry of Education of India in a tweet.
Modi said that National Digital Architecture is likely to play a significant role in eradicating inequality in the education system in the country.
“National Digital Architecture is likely to play a major role in eradicating inequality in education and its modernization,” said Modi.
“National Digital Architecture will act as a ‘super connect’ between various academic activities in the same way as UPI interface revolutionized the banking sector. The country is making technology like Talking Books and Audiobooks a part of education.”
The Prime Minister said that “Vidyanjali 2.0” is like a platform for the country’s resolve of “Sabka Prayas (everyone’s effort)” with “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas (everyone’s support, development for all, everyone’s faith).”
He reiterates that Sabka Saath (Everyone’s Support), Sabka Vikas (Everyone’s Development), Sabka Vishwas (Everyone’s Trust), and Sabka Paryaas (Everyone’s Effort) are not just policy-based but also participation-based.
In this society, our private sector has to come forward and contribute to increasing the quality of education in government schools, said Modi.
“Vidyanjali 2.0” is a portal launched for facilitating education volunteers, donors, and the contributors of corporate social responsibility for school development.
Modi launched the School Quality Assessment and Assurance Framework, which would address the absence of a standard scientific framework for dimensions like curriculum, pedagogy, assessment, infrastructure, inclusive practices, and governance process. This will help in bridging this inequality.
The celebration of the “Shikshak Parv-2021” will encourage innovative practices to ensure continuity of education at all levels and improve quality, inclusive practices, and sustainability in schools across the country.
Modi lauded teachers for tackling the challenges and adapting the new teaching skills amid the Covid-19 pandemic through online classes, group video calls, and online exams.
“During the Covid-19, we have all witnessed capabilities and potential of our education sector,” said Modi. “There were a lot of challenges, but you solved all challenges swiftly.”
Online classes, group video calls, online exams— these concepts were not known to anyone earlier. Our teachers, our parents, our youth made all these concepts a part of our daily lives. It is now time that we take these capabilities forward. Our teachers do not consider their work a mere profession; teaching is emotional and a sacred moral duty for them.”
Modi said he believes the relationship between a teacher and a student is for a lifetime. While teachers in India can match any global standards, they also have the rich resource of Indian culture.
He said the teachers had displayed enough potential to learn new ways such as competency-based teaching, art integration, high-order thinking, and creative and critical thinking. It will help them make the youth ready for the future in a better way.
Modi lauded the teachers for their contribution to formulating the new National Education Policy.
“From the formulation of New Education Policy to its implementation, academicians, experts, teachers, and all others have had key roles to play. We have to take this participation to a new level and integrate the society as well,” he said.
The union budget for education, in 2020, in India amounted to INR 993 billion ($13 billion), as per reports by Statista.
“This was an increase from the previous year where the government spending on education equaled INR 948 billion ($12.8 billion),” states the report.
“The education budget has seen a steady increase since 2014.”
(With inputs from ANI)
Edited by Saptak Datta and Ritaban Misra
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