The system of Education in India is very vast with 85 lakhs teachers and 26 crores students. Providing equitable and quality education to all is our mandate. But the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to close educational institutions since 20 March 2020. This has caused an unprecedented disruption of education and affected more than 90% of the school population. The Ministry of Education, Govt. of India and State Education Departments have made concerted efforts to ensure continuity of learning through various digital platforms.
The COVID-19 has also forced all the schools/colleges to stop regular teaching-learning-assessment processes and also teacher training in face-to-face (FTF) mode. The most ambitious NISHTHA integrated training for 42 lakhs teachers (planned through face-to-face mode) at elementary education level (Classes 1 to 8) has come to a stand still. Under NISHTHA face-to- face training, 23,137 SRGs and 17,74,728 Teachers and head teachers working in state governed schools were covered from 33 States/UTs in a span of eight months. Time bound scaling and reach of such training is still a challenge in a plural country like India, where there is huge diversity due to language, geographical locations, culture, socio economic conditions etc.
However, the learning continuum of teachers and students can not be restricted due to the lack of readiness to face the lock down or due to the diversity and huge population. Every individual looks forward to learning something from cooking to artificial intelligence to keep them engaged as well as extending their knowledge. Every teacher urges to improve their pedagogical competencies as there is a need to address a diverse group of students. In order to continue this learning and to reach every single teacher, pupil teachers and students irrespective of the board, affiliation etc., the Ministry of Education, Govt. of India has planned to organise a series of online courses for these stakeholders through DIKSHA portal which will be even accessible to the individuals with a small mobile phone and minimum internet connectivity or no connectivity.
Therefore, NCERT has planned to continue NISHTHA - integrated teacher training using DIKSHA platform and reach out to 42 Lakh elementary school teachers and its further extension to all as well.
Courses for teachers will be launched sequentially and conducted in batchers. Each course varies in the time duration where there will be flexibility for teachers to complete the course. Each course will have learning resources like video, reading material, reflective activities, practice activities, self assessment quiz etc. NCERT will conduct courses in English and Hindi. The same will be translated in regional language by States/ UTs and be conducted in state instances of DIKSHA. A teacher need to do self enrolment and do self learning and will be certified on course completion. DIKSHA portal will also be leveraged to conduct MOOCs in an effective manner. This initiative of MOOCs for teachers will be a boon for learning continuously and also to reach every teacher by scaling up in a time bound manner. This will also enable equity in providing professional development to teachers.
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