Satellite technology for education not being utilised to full potential, panel told
The Education Ministry told a Parliamentary panel on education that it is still collating information from the States on learning losses caused by COVID-19 school closures and students’ access to digital education during the pandemic. At its meeting on Friday, the panel heard presentations on the use of satellite technology to bridge learning gaps instead, members said.
“Unless there is some assessment of the existing learning losses, and the impact of the activities already being conducted, what is the point of simply listing more activities to be undertaken?” asked one member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Education, Women, Children, Youth and Sports.
“The School Education Department says more time is needed for the States to collect the data [on learning losses]. Hopefully, we will get it by the end of the month,” said another member, acknowledging that the Ministry had earlier promised to share such data by the end of June.
With regard to satellite technology, members said presentations were made by the Indian Space Research Organisation, Prasar Bharati and the Bhaskaracharya National Institute for Space Applications and Geo-informatics, which possesses the infrastructure used to beam the Centre’s Swayam Prabha educational television channels. School Education Secretary Anita Karwal and Education Department officials from Uttar Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Telangana and Bihar, also spoke on how such technology is already being used.
One member raised the concern that this was a “top heavy approach”, suggesting that the focus needs to be on ensuring community television sets are available for students to receive this content in each of the 2.6 lakh gram panchayats in the country.
“Swayam Prabha is not being utilised to its full potential by many States. There is some inertia,” said another member.
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