The budget overstates the role of e-learning? – The New Indian Express

Express press service

CHENNAI: Academics in the state have expressed concerns over the implementation of e-learning initiatives announced in the Union Budget on Tuesday and believe that Tamil Nadu would not benefit much from the projects. The Union government has announced that it will boost the PM e-VIDYA initiative, while the number of TV channels under the “one class, one channel” program will increase from 12 to 200.

EXPRESS ILLUSTRATION

“In Tamil Nadu, we already have Kalvi TV and the state government is planning to launch more channels. Thus, announcements from the Center will not benefit our students,” said Tamil Nadu Graduate Teachers Federation General Secretary, P Patrick Raymond.

Instead of announcing a new digital university, the Center should have focused on filling vacancies and developing infrastructure in already existing institutes, said the chairman of the Association of Indian Universities, G Thiruvasagam. “Even now, there is no clarity on the implementation of the National Education Policy, or how much funding universities would receive under it.

The budget also did not allocate funds for the new digital university. So it remains to be seen how the Center would implement it and how students in rural areas, where the internet is still a distant dream, would reap the benefits,” he added.

The budget also failed to address critical issues, including cutting interest on education loans and research activities, teachers said. “Other than a few e-learning initiatives, there wasn’t much in the budget to address infrastructure issues or the impact of Covid on education,” said K Padma, professor of ‘university.
While academics opined that digital initiatives will take years to see the light of day, IT business leaders said the budget should have focused more on developing a program technology driven.

Co-founder and CEO of edtech startup LEAD Sumeet Mehta said, “As an educator, I welcome the focus on building free, digital education channels. However, at the same time, the budget seems to circumvent physical schooling. I sincerely hope that is not the case. While online learning was inevitable due to the pandemic, it would never be as effective as classroom learning, which brings out the best in students in terms of learning outcomes. Online education can at best play a complementary role.


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