Central universities teachers create crash courses for rural learners affected by COVID-19 lockdown

By: Education Desk | New Delhi |

Published: August 27, 2020 1:54:09 pm

These lessons will be available through Swayam Prabha (Representational Image)

For students who do not have access to online learning due to the COVID-19 induced lockdown and subsequent closure of physical classrooms, the faculty members of central universities have been creating educational content that can be telecasted on Swayam Prabha — television channel of the Ministry of Education.

As many as 300 hours of lectures by Central University faculty have been recorded and will be telecast on the ‘Direct To Home’ educational channels of Swayam Prabha from August 28, claims the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras which is the national coordinator for the campaign. The courses are directed to students in rural areas.

This new content will broadcast on NPTEL channel 11-18 until August 31 and rescheduled on channels 11-16 from September 1.

“The core objective is to help rural students who could not attend classes due to the COVID-19 lockdown. The focus is to create crash courses with an emphasis on problem-solving approaches. The lectures were recorded by faculty from various central universities from their homes,” the IIT claims in an official statement.

Read | 27% Central school kids have no phone, laptop to access classes: Study

The regular 40-50-hour lectures of the entire course were condensed to 10-15 hours for fast assimilation by students during the lockdown. They were created to meet or exceed the very high academic standards set by the University Grants Commission (UGC) and other academic bodies and the technical requirements for High Definition (HD) broadcast.

All these lectures were created by the faculty members while maintaining social distancing at their home and utilising facilities such as a laptop or a personal computer, a built-in camera and an internet/ broadband connection available at their home, claims the IIT.

NPTEL and MOOCs open online courses which are available on SWAYAM platform and can be accessed on mobile phones or computer or laptops. They can cater to the learning needs of urban students. However, the major challenge faced by rural students includes limited access to the internet and poor or limited availability of mobile network connectivity.

SWAYAM PRABHA is a group of 32 DTH channels devoted to telecasting of high-quality educational programmes on a 24X7 basis using the GSAT-15 satellite. The content would be repeated several times during the day, allowing the students to choose the time of their convenience. The contents are provided by NPTEL, IITs, UGC, CEC, IGNOU, NCERT and NIOS. The INFLIBNET Centre maintains the web portal.

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