Pune: President Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday launched educational courses through 32 DTH channels, tablets and mobiles, as a part of the MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) Swayam Prabha at the National Convention on Digital Initiatives for Higher Education in New Delhi.
While the initiative is meant for all students across the country, experts feel it will be of greater benefit to rural students, who have limited access to digital means of learning.
Educationist Vivek Velankar said the initiative sounds great, but its efficiency depends on how it actually reaches the masses. “The initiative will have a good use in the rural areas, where Internet connectivity hasn’t reached. Television has a wider scope in India’s rural belt. Also, the government needs to look into how they can promote these 32 channels so that students actually switch on their TVs and watch the lectures,” Velankar said.
“The inclusion of an IIT module will help rural students and those who cannot afford expensive coaching classes,” said Durgesh Mangeshkar, Director, IITian’s Prashikshan Kendra Pvt Ltd.
SPPU Vice-Chancellor welcomes move
Speaking to Sakal Times, NR Karmalkar, Vice-Chancellor, Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU), who was present at the launch in New Delhi said it is a fabulous initiative, because it makes these courses available to those students who do not have access to Internet.
“There are many procedures as far as the involvement of the universities in this initiative is concerned, and we are still working on it. I feel the initiative will help thousands of students to get access to better educational facilities and a host of more courses,” Karmalkar added.
‘Choose faculty carefully’
“The teachers who are chosen for delivering the lectures should be chosen carefully. Usually, for IIT coaching, students prefer getting trained by young teachers with whom they can connect. The faculty would not be present with the students physically, and thus, it is necessary that they make the lectures interesting,” said Mangeshkar.
He said employing professors from IITs could backfire as IIT professors are good researchers, but not necessarily good teachers. Educationist Arun Nigvekar said, “India is a vast country with a variety of people. So, delivering a lecture to the masses on such a platform is a task ahead of the teachers, as they need to understand that students from different areas are bound to be different.”
He added, “Instead of making an integrated programme for one and all, educators need to understand how they can deliver the lectures best in order to address different elements in our society. The idea is good. However, implementation is needed in a cohesive manner.”