By Ashoke Raj
New Delhi [India], June 21 (ANI): The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Education on Monday decided to take the help of Indian Space Research Organnisation (ISRO) scientists to implement satellite TV classroom in the country, to bridge the learning gap due to Covid-induced lockdown in the country.
The panel discussed issues pertaining to the content and design of school textbooks and plans to bridge the learning gap arising out of the prolonged shutdown of schools due to the COVID pandemic.
"The majority of the panel members of the committee has decided to take help from ISRO for the satellite TV classroom. As Odisha and Gujarat have already started. Students, especially from the rural areas can take advantage of bridging the learning gap due to pandemic," a panel member told ANI.
The Vinay Sahasrabuddhe-led parliamentary panel for education had raised concerns over the knowledge gap of students and discussed taking the help of senior ISRO scientist to implement satellite TV orbit as Odisha and Gujarat have already started.
"We have noted that in rural areas of the country, not every household has a smartphone and it is not practical for students to take online classes from a smartphone. Sometimes the network is not good for online classes," a panel member told ANI.
A third party satellite company which comes under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEIT), currently provides services to both the states for satellite TV classroom.
The committee explored satellite TV classrooms which will broadcast school-based education program and students can take advantage of it in cluster classrooms and the issue of smartphone and data connectivity can be solved especially in the rural areas.
Further, the panel for education has also taken cognizance of the issues of convening about five state education secretaries for a detailed presentation about satellite TV classroom and presenting the states of Odisha and Gujarat as role models.
"The committee plans to convene the education secretary of the states for detailed briefing and ask them to implement the Odisha and Gujarat model for satellite TV classroom for students and if necessary the committee members and ministry officials of the states can also visit the states," sources said.
There has been no substantive discussion on the opening of schools, the members raised the issues. The chairman of the committee informed the panel that, "opening of schools is a state subject and detailed guidelines for the opening of schools were sent to the states."
Waiver of school fees and other charges were not discussed in Monday's meeting but several members told ANI that it will come soon during the meeting as it is an important issue which the panel need to discuss. (ANI)