New Delhi [India], June 23 (ANI): India has reaffirmed its support to the collective efforts of the G-20 countries to reduce educational poverty, inequalities and early school leaving, said Minister of State for Education (MoS) Sanjay Dhotre at the G20 Education Ministers' meeting on Tuesday.
He added that India has also extended support to the efforts of members countries to further improve and strengthen blended learning initiatives.
The meeting was hosted by Italy and G20 Education Ministers exchanged views on how to progress in the fight against educational poverty and inequalities, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a statement by the Education Ministry.
The ministers also resolved to share innovative experiences implemented during the pandemic to ensure the continuity and quality of learning pathways through blended education.
Speaking on National Education Policy, 2020, the minister said it envisages equitable and inclusive education for all, with a special focus on children and youth, especially girls, from socially and economically disadvantaged groups who are more at risk of being left behind.
Dhotre pointed out that the Indian education system has made steady progress towards bridging gender and social category gaps in all levels of education through multiple interventions.
"Some of these include increasing intake capacity of schools; tracking out-of-school children; monitoring the learning outcomes of vulnerable students; ensuring physical safety and zero tolerance to breach of child rights; mid-day meals to ensure the health of children; enabling mechanisms for Children With Special Needs; promoting multiple pathways to learning and strengthening open and distance learning programmes," he said.
Regarding ensuring educational continuity during the pandemic, the minister shared that India has promoted blended learning extensively.
"Digital educational content has been made available on various e-learning platforms like DIKSHA, SWAYAM and several others which can be accessed by anyone, anytime, and anywhere free of cost. The permissible online component in conventional education has been increased from 20 percent to 40 percent," he said.
"Over 100 top-ranked universities have been allowed to introduce full-fledged online education programmes. In order to address the digital divide, India has been making extensive use of the SWAYAM PRABHA TV channels and the Community Radio. The Digital infrastructure is being expanded rapidly. A National Education Technology Forum is being set up under NEP 2020 to aid technology-led education," he added.
The Government also took special care to address mental health issues of students through counselling programmes like Manodarpan and others, he highlighted. (ANI)