NETF Forum to boost digital education

A National Educational Technology Forum to boost digital education soon

From April 2022, the govt would have a replacement autonomous body to exclusively affect technology-led digital education and assessment.

Sources told Money control that the govt are going to be fixing the National Educational Technology Forum (NETF), which can be a one-stop shop to debate and strategise the utilization of technology across all levels of education.

“There are going to be a gradual introduction of technology-led education from the school-level itself. this suggests that concepts like coding are going to be taught to students once they are as young as 12-13 years old,” said a government official.

After the forum is launched in 2022, phase two will involve the consolidation of all technology-led learning programs into a single platform.

NETF will contains members of the education ministry, state governments, institutes, also as technology experts and IT sector veterans.

The education ministry has had a series of meetings with education boards and departments of states/Union territories across the country between October 2020 and April 2021.

During these discussions, the state education boards got the task to ask schools to form an inventory of technology-enabled programmes (apart from basic computer education), and therefore the funds required for upgradation and teaching resource availability. This data is currently being compiled at the state level.

How will the NETF work?

Once the forum is about up, school-wise information are going to be sought on how technology is getting used for imparting academic content and what steps are being taken to reinforce research.

“Most schools, usually, have simple computer education and there is not much emphasis on learning real skills to support te need to develop skills. as an example , data analytics and AI are in high demand but schools rarely specialise in these areas,” added another government official.

NETF will meet on a daily basis (every 3-6 months) to review the progress in technology-led learning and also make suggestions to educational institutions, supported marketing research .

Initially, the NETF are going to be funded by the govt but at a later stage, private funding and support from industry bodies like NASSCOM would be invited.

What will NETF do?

The NETF will provide independent evidence-based advice on technology-based interventions to central and government agencies. A special focus are going to be on improving technology access at the grassroot education level.

Schools are going to be required to possess skilled professionals who could manage technology-led learning with the help of third-party companies. additionally , schools will need to hire qualified candidates to show emerging technological skills to students.

Meena Raman, principal at Jeevan Vidya Memorial School in Kolkata, told Money control that while NETF may be a good move, there’ll even be a requirement to urge skilled teachers for technology-related subjects.

“We will got to get teachers who are conversant with the newest technological innovations and therefore the ability to impart these skills to the scholars . Right now, these niche skilled persons command a hefty salary. So education boards will need to ascertain whether or not they would be guest teachers of full-time staff,” she added.

To support the event of a vibrant body of data and practice, NETF will organise multiple regional and national conferences and workshops to brainstorm on the way to make India’s education system more savvy, technologically.

These events will have technology experts from schools, universities, research institutions and other organisations to guage these inputs against the present best practices.

For students from economically weaker backgrounds, interventions by the Panchayat members for schools and colleges in their vicinity are going to be advised. These interventions include fixing smart classrooms, digital tools for schools like laptops and tablets also as recorded e-learning modules for areas with poor internet connectivity.

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