Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu calls for bridging digital divide to ensure equitable education
New Delhi/IBNS: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday called for bridging the digital divide to achieve universal primary education and ensure impartial secondary and higher education.
Releasing the book “Future of Education – Nine Megatrends“ virtually through a video conference , the Vice President said technology opens up new possibilities but also makes us understand the big digital divide in our society.
The book was brought out by ICT Academy, a non-profit society and an initiative of the Government of India and the state governments.
The Vice President also pointed to the facts that it is important to make technology obtainable and affordable to the children who can not access technology due to lack of digital devices.
Naidu said that a large number of students were affected for the drive from offline mode of study to online mode and they require a hand holding and a proper training to access education online.
“Many parents in India still cannot afford digital devices,” he said and it is a very big and complex issue for the government to achieve the task alone. He urged the private sectors, especially educational technology firms to scrutinize the products at affordable prices as per the needs of learners.
“This is your time to make a momentous contribution to nation building and securing a bright future for our children,“ he added.
Quoting the Prime Minister, the Vice President said in future “online should be the main line, so that there is no need for any line”.
As educational institutions are going digital in the context of the nationwide pandemic, the Vice President said students and teachers were connecting through cloud based platforms to communicate, share work, and complete projects.
As Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality will enter classrooms more rapidly, Naidu said that this would alter the path of education.
Requesting teachers to communicate teaching in tune with the changing requirements, the Vice President said that students can access machines anytime from anywhere in the wake of online laboratories. He said “the teacher now plays the role of a facilitator, guide, counselor, coach and many a time that of a friend to the student."
Heeding that the huge demographic advantage is waiting to be converted into a demographic dividend , Naidu said “we should not miss this opportunity. We should enhance access to knowledge and skills to all children so that each one of them realizes his or her innate potential”.
Giving importance to the value based education the Vice President called for developing a model of education that reflects Indian culture and ethos. “We need to inculcate cultural,moral, ethical and spiritual values among children," he added.