COVID-19: A Positive Bridge To Fill The Gap Between Contemporary And Traditional Education

Soon after the whole world was hit by COVID-19, Digital Technology has been used as a commendable platform to be leveraged as an efficient solution of offering ‘Knowledge for All.’

The changing job landscape has been impacted due to various forces like demographics, globalisation, political environment and Industry 4.0 on the workforce of tomorrow offers students, corporations, academia and policymakers, a consolidated view of the benchmark changing practices across the globe. What is even more exiting is the way traditional educational practices followed for over years have recently changed to become more digitized and adds an emphasis on learning pushing institutions to lay a foot forward in inculcating this change. Skilling through vocational education has been the key motto of the Government to offer students with an exposure to industry experience that has added more value to them by offering sustainable career and livelihood options. Soon after the whole world was hit by COVID-19, Digital Technology has been used as a commendable platform to be leveraged as an efficient solution of offering ‘Knowledge for All.’

Remote learning initiatives through the use of Digital Technology have created commendable options for not just the mainstream students but the differently abled candidates as well. Most established corporations today of Industry 4.0 have laid emphasis on recruiting candidates that are more experienced and exposed with industrial experience that can add more value to their organisations with their skill sets. Vocational Education being offered utilising Digital Technology has created an importance for qualitative education with more emphasis on learning than the emphasis on expansion of education.

As per the Census in 2011, out of the 121 crore population, about 2.68 crore persons are disabled which is 2.21% of the total population. India faces a huge skill gap when it comes to skill training. According to the data related to the gap in skills training released by Census 2011, 104 million new employees would need skills training and 298 million of the current workforce would require additional skills training by 2022. According to the report on Disabled Persons in India-A statistical profile 2016, the National Policy for Persons with Disabilities (2006), recognizes that, Persons with Disabilities (PwD) are valuable human resources for the country. As per Census 2011, 36% of the total 1.46 crore differently-abled population was employed. However, there still seems to be a huge gap that can be fulfilled through social inclusion of the differently-abled and creating slightly tweaked job roles for better career opportunities that can empower them in a career of their choice.

As Skill India was one of the initiatives that was launched a few years earlier the prime emphasis was on creating a curriculum that would enhance the inner skills of the candidate and also offer job roles that suit their credibility and skills. Skilling candidates through Vocational Training has been a massive step to encourage not just mainstream candidates but also the differently abled students to be more empowered to take up opportunities that fit their skill sets. Which means offering ‘The Right Job for the Right Candidate with the Right Skills Sets and In the Right Stream’. All this has only been possible due to the availability and importance given to Vocational Training.

As per the India Report- Digital Education that was recently prepared by the Department of School Education & Literacy, (DoSE&L) Ministry of Human Resource Development, various initiatives such as Diksha, Swayam Prabha Channel, Shiksha Vani, E-Pathshala have been launched. What could not have been achieved in 5 years, the outbreak of COVID-19 has made it possible to reach out to the right candidates even in the remotest part of the country.

DIKSHA (Digital Infrastructure for Knowledge Sharing) is the national platform for school education available for all states and the central government for grades 1 to 12. DIKSHA can be accessed from both the web-portal and mobile application as well. PM eVidya announced under the Atma Nirbhar Bharat programme, DIKSHA is the ‘one nation; one digital platform’ for school education in India that offers a humungous source of E-Content through Energized Textbooks (ETBs). The program also plans to offer training of Teachers. Rajasthan has leveraged DIKSHA to start its state-wide teacher training program, CM Rise, with the aim to make digital learning as a part of continuous professional development. Lakhs of teachers have registered for these courses. DIKSHA also supports inclusive learning which is why this platform is leveraged for or school education, foundational learning programs and to support inclusive learning for underserved and differently-abled communities of learners and teachers.

Access through TV channels - Swayam Prabha TV Channels: DTH channels are meant to support and reach those who do not have access to the internet. 32 channels are devoted to telecast high-quality educational programmes by the MHRD

Digitally Accessible Information System (DAISY): One DTH channel is being operated specifically for hearing impaired students in sign language. For visually and hearing impaired students, study material has been developed in Digitally Accessible Information System (DAISY) and in sign language; both are available on NIOS website/ YouTube.

Apart from the various initiatives that have been taken by the Govt. there are many other mainstream opportunities in various sectors that have opened up as careers for the differently abled. Though the society has experienced a huge social change through social inclusiveness of these candidates what is even more exciting is the acceptance of the differently abled candidates on the acceptance of this digital shift.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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