Tag Archives: education

guidelines for developing e-content for CwD

https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1725279

Union Education Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ today approved the release of the guidelines for the Development of e-Content for Children with Disabilities today.

A comprehensive initiative, PM e-VIDYA was launched on 17th May 2020, with an aim to unify all efforts related to digital/online/on-air education. The programme interaliaenvisages development of special e-content for the Divyang (Children with Disabilities-CwDs).  In pursuance of this vision, the Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Education had constituted a Committee of experts, for recommending guidelines for developing e-content for these children.

For the first time, an attempt was made to prepare guidelines for CwD also referred to as Children with Special Needs (CWSN) children so that the goal of inclusive education is fulfilled. The Committee submitted a report titled “Guidelines for the Development of e-Content for Children with Disabilities” comprising of eleven Sections and two Appendices. This report was shared, presented, discussed and accepted by the MoE.

The salient highlights of the e- content guidelines in the report are: 

  • e-Content for CwDs should be developed based on the four principles namely: perceivable, operable, understandable and robust.
  • e-Content including text, tables, diagrams, visuals, audios, videos etc. should comply with accessibility standards: national standards (GIGW 2.0) and international standards (WCAG 2.1, E-Pub, DAISY  etc).
  • Distribution platforms on which content is uploaded (e.g. DIKSHA) and Reading platforms/devices on which content is accessed and interacted (e.g. e-pathshala) must comply with technical standards
  • Reasonable pedagogical accommodations have been recommended to meet specific needs of CwDs
  • The technical standards and guidelines have been detailed out in Section 4 of the report.

The Committee has also recommended that in a phased manner textbooks may be adapted into Accessible Digital Textbooks (ADTs). The content of ADTs should be provided in multiple formats (text, audio, video, sign language etc) with turn-on and turn-off features. Further ADTs should provide flexibility to CwDs to respond to its content/exercises in multiple ways. The detailed guidelines for developing ADTs along with existing international and national experience, in the development of prototypes including the recent NCERT’s experience: Barkha:A Reading Series for All (in print and digital forms),  Accessible Textbooks for All and UNICEF’s “Accessible Digital Textbooks using Universal Design for Learning ( for Learners with and without  Disabilities ) have been presented in Section 5 of the report.

  • In addition to ADTs, in Sections 6 to 9 the Committee has recommended specific guidelines for development of supplementary e-Content as per 21 disabilities specified in the RPWD Act 2016 for students having Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Multiple Disabilities, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Specific Learning Disabilities, Blindness, low vision, Deafness and Hard of Hearing and others.
  • A summary of the recommendations has been presented in Section 10 of the report for sharing widely with content creators, content designers, developers, publishers.
  • The implementation roadmap along with the suggestions to strengthen compliance to the accessibility guidelines have been presented in Section 11 of the report.
  • Comprehensive guidelines and technical standards for the production of Sign Language videos have been provided at Appendix-1 of the Report.
  • Universal Design for Learning( UDL)guidelines for content development and pedagogical accommodations are given in Appendix 2 of the report. 

These guidelines will initiate the creation of high quality content for digital education toChildrenwith Special needs. They are dynamic by nature, to be improved based on experience and advent of better technology.

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postponement of offline exams

https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1715744

Due to second wave of Covid – 19, Ministry of Education urged for the postponement of all offline examinations scheduled in the month of May, 2021.

In a letter addressed to all the heads of centrally funded institutions, Secretary,  Higher Education Shri Amit Khare has urged the Institutions to postpone all offline examinations scheduled in the month of May, 2021. The Online examinations, etc may however continue.

The letter also stated that the decision will be reviewed in the first week of June,2021.

The institutions have been further advised to ensure that if anyone in the institution needs any assistance it should be provided immediate possible help so that he/she comes out of the distress at the earliest.  All Institutions have to encourage eligible persons to go for vaccination and ensure that everyone follows COVID -19 appropriate behavior to remain safe.

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8.71 kms in mindspace

8.71 kms in mindspace. Extremely cold morning, by Mumbai standards i.e.

MRR is raising funds for Bhumi, which is one of India’s largest independent youth volunteer non-profit organisations. Bhumi as a platform will enable over 12,000 volunteers in more than 12 cities across India for causes like education, environment, animals and community welfare. Bhumi is the recipient of the ‘Leader in Volunteer Engagement Award’ conferred by iVolunteer.

Request people to contribute generously to their cause by clicking on the below link.

https://www.unitedwaymumbai.org/tmm-fundraiser-15414

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7.18 kms in mindspace

7.18 kms in Mindspace, Bombay. With this i crossed 600 kms for the year, its been a tough year for running with 4 months completely gone due to covid. Happy Guru Nanak Jayanti folks!!

MRR (Mumbai Road Runners) is raising funds for Bhumi, an NGO which is one of India’s largest independent youth volunteer non-profit organisations. Bhumi as a platform will enable over 12,000 volunteers in more than 12 cities across India for causes like education, environment, animals and community welfare. Bhumi is the recipient of the ‘Leader in Volunteer Engagement Award’ conferred by iVolunteer. Request to please contribute generously to this cause. The link is given below:

https://www.unitedwaymumbai.org/tmm-fundraiser-15414

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8.26 kms in mindspace

8.26 kms in mindspace, Mumbai. A hint of winter when i got out, a wee bit, but it lasted only a couple of minutes, continued to be humid after that. Running is therapeutic, running is meditation in motion, running is the best stress buster in the world. Run on alternate days and strength train on alternate days with one rest day in a week. Your life will be sorted.

MRR (Mumbai Road Runners) is raising funds for Bhumi, an NGO which is one of India’s largest independent youth volunteer non-profit organisations. Bhumi as a platform will enable over 12,000 volunteers in more than 12 cities across India for causes like education, environment, animals and community welfare. Bhumi is the recipient of the ‘Leader in Volunteer Engagement Award’ conferred by iVolunteer. To contribute to Bhumi, please visit

https://www.unitedwaymumbai.org/tmm-fundraiser-15414

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National Education Policy

PIB Press release dated 29th July, 2020

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved the National Education Policy 2020 today, making way for large scale, transformational reforms in both school and higher education sectors. This is the first education policy of the 21st century and replaces the thirty-four year old National Policy on Education (NPE), 1986.  Built on the foundational pillars of Access, Equity, Quality, Affordability and Accountability, this policy is  aligned to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and aims to transform India into a vibrant knowledge society and global knowledge superpower by making both school and college education more holistic, flexible, multidisciplinary, suited to 21st century needs and aimed at bringing out the unique capabilities of each student.

Important Highlights

School Education

Ensuring Universal Access at all levels of school education

NEP 2020 emphasizes on ensuring universal access to school education at all levels- pre school to secondaryInfrastructure support, innovative education centres to bring back dropouts into the mainstream, tracking of students and their learning levels, facilitating multiple pathways to learning involving both formal and non-formal education modes, association of counselors or well-trained social workers with schools, open learning for classes3,5 and 8 through NIOS and State Open Schools, secondary education programs equivalent to Grades 10 and 12, vocational courses, adult literacy and life-enrichment programs are some of the proposed ways for achieving this. About 2 crore out of school children will be brought back into main stream under NEP 2020.

Early Childhood Care & Education with  new Curricular and Pedagogical Structure

With emphasis on Early Childhood Care and Education, the 10+2 structure of school curricula is to be replaced by a 5+3+3+4 curricular structure corresponding to ages 3-8, 8-11, 11-14, and 14-18 years respectively.  This will bring the hitherto uncovered age group of 3-6 years under school curriculum, which has been recognized globally as the crucial stage for development of mental faculties of a child. The new system will have 12 years of schooling with three years of Anganwadi/ pre schooling.

NCERT will develop a National Curricular and Pedagogical Framework for Early Childhood Care and Education (NCPFECCE) for children up to the age of 8 . ECCE will be delivered through a significantly expanded and strengthened system of institutions including Anganwadis and pre-schools that will have teachers and Anganwadi workers trained in the ECCE pedagogy and curriculum. The planning and implementation of ECCE will be carried out jointly by the Ministries of HRD, Women and Child Development (WCD), Health and Family Welfare (HFW), and Tribal Affairs.

Attaining Foundational Literacy and Numeracy

Recognizing Foundational Literacy and Numeracy as an urgent and necessary prerequisite to learning, NEP 2020 calls for setting up of a  National Mission on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy by MHRD. States will prepare an implementation plan for attaining universal foundational literacy and numeracy in all primary schools for all learners by grade 3 by 2025.A National Book Promotion Policy is to be formulated.

Reforms in school curricula and pedagogy

The school curricula and pedagogy will aim for holistic development of learnersbyequipping them with the key 21st century skills, reduction in curricular content to enhance essential learning and critical thinking and greater focus on experiential learning. Students will have increased flexibility and choice of subjects. There will be no rigid separations between arts and sciences, between curricular and extra-curricular activities, between vocational and academic streams.

Vocational education will start in schools from the 6th grade, and will include internships.

A new and comprehensive National Curricular Framework for School Education, NCFSE 2020-21, will be developed by the NCERT.

Multilingualism and the power of language

The policy has emphasized mother tongue/local language/regional language as the medium of instruction at least till Grade 5, but preferably till Grade 8 and beyond. Sanskrit to be offered at all levels of school and higher education as an option for students, including in the three-language formula. Other classical languages and literatures of India also to be available as options. No language will be imposed on any student. Students to participate in a fun project/activity on ‘The Languages of India’, sometime in Grades 6-8, such as, under the ‘Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat’ initiative. Several foreign languages will also be offered at the secondary level. Indian Sign Language (ISL) will be standardized across the country, and National and State curriculum materials developed, for use by students with hearing impairment.

Assessment Reforms

NEP 2020 envisages a shift from summative assessment to regular and formative assessment, which is more competency-based, promotes learning and development, and tests higher-order skills, such as analysis, critical thinking, and conceptual clarity. All students will take school examinations in Grades 3, 5, and 8 which will be conducted by the appropriate authority. Board exams for Grades 10 and 12 will be continued, but redesigned with holistic development as the aim.  A new National Assessment Centre, PARAKH (Performance Assessment, Review, and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development),  will be set up as a standard-setting body .

Equitable and Inclusive Education

NEP 2020 aims to ensure that no child loses any opportunity to learn and excel because of the circumstances of birth or background. Special emphasis will be given on Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Groups(SEDGs) which include gender, socio-cultural, and geographical identities and disabilities.  This includes setting up of   Gender Inclusion Fund and also Special Education Zones for disadvantaged regions and groups. Children with disabilities will be enabled to fully participate in the regular schooling process from the foundational stage to higher education, with support of educators with cross disability training, resource centres, accommodations, assistive devices, appropriate technology-based tools and other support mechanisms tailored to suit their needs. Every state/district will be encouraged to establish “Bal Bhavans” as a special daytime boarding school, to participate in art-related, career-related, and play-related activities. Free school infrastructure can be used as Samajik Chetna Kendras

Robust Teacher Recruitment and Career Path

Teachers will be recruited through robust, transparent processes. Promotions will be merit-based, with a mechanism for multi-source periodic performance appraisals and available progression paths to become educational administrators or teacher educators. A common National Professional Standards for Teachers (NPST) will be developed by the National Council for Teacher Education by 2022, in consultation with NCERT, SCERTs, teachers and expert organizations from across levels and regions.

School Governance

Schools can be organized into complexes or clusters which will be the basic unit of governance and ensure availability of all resources including infrastructure, academic libraries and a strong professional teacher community.

Standard-setting and Accreditation for School Education

NEP 2020 envisages clear, separate systems for policy making, regulation, operations and academic matters. States/UTs will set up independent State School Standards Authority (SSSA). Transparent public self-disclosure of all the basic regulatory information, as laid down by the SSSA, will be used extensively for public oversight and accountability. The SCERT will develop a School Quality Assessment and Accreditation Framework (SQAAF) through consultations with all stakeholders.

Higher Education

Increase GER to 50 % by 2035

NEP 2020 aims to increase the Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education including vocational education from 26.3% (2018) to 50% by 2035. 3.5 Crore new seats will be added to Higher education institutions.

Holistic Multidisciplinary Education

The policy envisages broad based, multi-disciplinary, holistic Under Graduate  education with flexible curriculacreative combinations of subjectsintegration of vocational education and  multiple entry and exit points with appropriate certification. UG education can be of 3 or 4 years with multiple exit options and appropriate certification within this period. For example,  Certificate after 1 year, Advanced Diploma after 2 years, Bachelor’s Degree after 3 years and Bachelor’s with Research after 4 years.

An Academic Bank of Credit is to be established for digitally storing academic credits earned from different  HEIs so that these can be transferred and counted towards final degree earned.

Multidisciplinary Education and Research Universities (MERUs), at par with IITs, IIMs, to  be set up as models  of best multidisciplinary education of global standards in the country.

The National Research Foundation will be created as an apex body for fostering a strong research culture and building research capacity across higher education.

Regulation

Higher Education Commission of India(HECI) will be set up as a single overarching umbrella body the for entire higher education, excluding medical and legal education. HECI to have  four independent verticals  – National Higher Education Regulatory Council (NHERC) for regulation, General Education Council (GEC ) for standard setting, Higher Education Grants Council (HEGC) for funding,  and National Accreditation Council( NAC) for accreditation. HECI will  function through faceless intervention through technology, & will have powers to penalise HEIs not conforming to norms and standards. Public and private higher education institutions will be governed by the same set of norms for regulation, accreditation and academic standards.

Rationalised Institutional Architecture

Higher education institutions will be transformed into large, well resourced, vibrant multidisciplinary institutions  providing  high quality teaching, research, and community engagement. The definition of university will allow a spectrum of institutions that range from Research-intensive Universities to Teaching-intensive Universities and Autonomous degree-granting Colleges. 

Affiliation of colleges is to be phased out in 15 years and a stage-wise mechanism is to be established for granting graded autonomy to colleges. Over a period of time, it is envisaged that every college would develop into either an Autonomous degree-granting College, or a constituent college of a university.

Motivated, Energized, and Capable Faculty

NEP makes recommendations for motivating, energizing, and building capacity of  faculty thorughclearly defined, independent, transparent recruitment , freedom to design curricula/pedagogy, incentivising excellence, movement into institutional leadership. Faculty not delivering on basic norms will be held accountable

Teacher Education

A new and comprehensive National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education, NCFTE 2021, will be formulated by the NCTE in consultation with NCERT. By 2030, the minimum degree qualification for teaching will be a 4-year integrated B.Ed. degree .Stringent action will be taken against substandard stand-alone Teacher Education Institutions (TEIs).

Mentoring Mission

A National Mission for Mentoring will be established, with a large pool of outstanding senior/retired faculty – including those with the ability to teach in Indian languages – who would be willing to provide short and long-term mentoring/professional support to university/college teachers.

Financial support for students

Efforts will be made to incentivize the merit of students belonging to SC, ST, OBC, and other SEDGs. The National Scholarship Portal will be expanded to support, foster, and track the progress of students receiving scholarships. Private HEIs will be encouraged to offer larger numbers of free ships and scholarships to their students.

Open and Distance Learning

Thiswill be expanded to play a significant role in increasing GER. Measures such as online courses and digital repositories, funding for research, improved student services, credit-based recognition of MOOCs, etc., will be taken to ensure it is at par with the highest quality in-class programmes.

Online Education and Digital Education:

A comprehensive set of recommendations for promoting online education consequent to the recent rise in epidemics and pandemics in order to ensure preparedness with alternative modes of quality education whenever and wherever traditional and in-person modes of education are not possible, has been covered. A dedicated unit for the purpose of orchestrating the building of digital infrastructure, digital content and capacity building will be created in the MHRD to look after the e-education needs of both school and higher education.

Technology in education

 An autonomous body, the National Educational Technology Forum (NETF), will be created to provide a platform for the free exchange of ideas on the use of technology to enhance learning, assessment, planning, administration. Appropriate integration of technology into all levels of education will be done to improve classroom processes, support teacher professional development, enhance educational access for disadvantaged groups and streamline educational planning, administration and management

Promotion of Indian languages

To ensure the preservation, growth, and vibrancy of all Indian languages, NEP recommends setting an Indian Institute of Translation and Interpretation (IITI), National Institute (or Institutes) for Pali, Persian and Prakrit, strengthening of Sanskrit and all language departments in HEIs,  and use mother tongue/local language as a medium of instruction in more HEI  programmes .

Internationalization of education will be facilitated through both institutional collaborations, and student and faculty mobility and allowing entry of top world ranked Universities to open campuses in our country.

Professional Education

All professional education will be an integral part of the higher education system. Stand-alone technical universities, health science universities, legal and agricultural universities etc will aim to become multi-disciplinary institutions.

Adult Education

Policy  aims to achieve 100% youth and adult literacy.

Financing Education

The Centre and the States will work together to increase the public investment in Education sector to reach 6% of GDP at the earliest.

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Education regulator in Maharashtra

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/Bill-to-check-donations-regulate-fees/articleshow/46869603.cms

To check the menace of donations and regulate admissions in colleges, the state government on Thursday introduced the ‘Maharashtra Unaided Private Professional Education Institutions (Regulation of Admission Fees) Act, 2015,’ in the assembly.

The bill, introduced by higher and technical education minister Vinod Tawde, proposes to establish two authorities: one to regulate admissions and conduct a common entrance test through centralized admission process, another to regulate fees in unaided private professional institutions. The two authorities, to be called the ‘Admission Regulating Authority (ARA)’ and ‘Fee Regulating Authority (FRA)’ respectively, will be headed by retired high court chief justices and comprise different sets of members. However, both will be controlled by the state higher and technical education department and the medical education and drugs department. A similar legislation was enacted by the Karnataka government in 2006.

Admissions to professional courses are currently conducted according to guidelines framed by the Supreme Court while delivering a landmark verdict in the case of TMA Pai Foundation versus the Karnataka government.

So far the common entrance test (CET) and admissions were conducted by the Directorate of Technical Education (DTE) and Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER). Once the bill is cleared by the assembly, the ARA will establish a CET cell and monitor its function. It will be headed by an officer of the rank of joint secretary, who will be designated as ‘commissioner of CET’.

Similarly, fees currently regulated by Shikshan Shulk Samiti will be fixed by the FRA for unaided colleges on the basis of various factors like infrastructure and facilities offered. It will have to complete the formalities within four months of receiving the proposal from a college. The FRA would also be responsible for verification and cancellation of admissions and will adjudicate disputes between stakeholders.

The government will have the power to appoint chairpersons and members for both authorities, who shouldn’t be associated with any private institution directly or indirectly. They will have a tenure of five years and won’t be eligible for reappointment. Interestingly, both will have powers of a civil court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, and can levy hefty penalties.

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