Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Friday called for a mass movement to promote digital literacy. He urged all stakeholders, including technological and educational institutions, to play a leading role in achieving the desired results. Virtually launching the Adi Shankara Digital Academy, the vice president said information was the main commodity in the present-day knowledge society, and added that whoever has quick access to information, has the advantage. He described 'digitalisation' as the medium to access such information.
Drawing attention towards unprecedented disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Vice President said it has forced millions of students out of classrooms due to closure of schools, and that the world community is trying to address the challenge by adopting online education. He said technology provides us an opportunity to transform teaching and learning and expressed the need to constantly update and develop education models that suit the new era's demands in view of the fast-changing technology.
Enumerating several benefits of online education, the vice president said it can enable access to quality and affordable education in remote areas. It also allows for a personalised learning experience and is especially helpful for groups such as working professionals and housewives, who might not be able to attend regular courses, he said. Because of these advantages, Naidu opined, online education is likely to remain a preferred choice in the post-pandemic period as well. There is no doubt that the pandemic has changed the education landscape forever, he said, according to an official statement.
Naidu said the global EdTech sector is attracting billions of dollars in investments and offers a huge opportunity to not only learners but to education entrepreneurs as well. He exhorted the youth to come forward and innovate to tap the potential offered by this sector.
In a word of advice, the vice president said there was a need to adopt a realistic approach in terms of what online education can deliver and what it cannot. "Online classes facilitate better teacher-student interaction through chat groups, video meetings, voting and document sharing, but it cannot replace the personal touch and warmth of a classroom," he said.