As per a PTI report, a parliamentary panel late on Monday had suggested the use of satellite television to the top officials part of the education ministry and CBSE in order to bridge the learning gap caused due to COVID-19 and the resulting closure of schools. It has also been mentioned that the panel has decided to call officials from ISRO or the Indian Space Research Organisation Organisation at its next scheduled meeting.
This comes at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has forced schools to move to a medium of online teaching, taking into view the risks that are caused by calling students to schools at a time when social distancing is key. This has been successful, but only to some extent, as many children lack proper internet access and/or a smartphone or tablet that can be used to attend the classes.
The officials who were part of the meeting included top officials from the National Council of Educational Research and Training or NCERT, the Central Board of Secondary Education or CBSE and the education ministry who were summoned before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Education, which is chaired by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP, Shri Vinay Sahasrabuddhe.
What Did the Meeting Reveal?
The agenda of the meeting was to supposedly discuss plans for bridging the learning gap caused due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The members of the panel, complete with Sahasrabuddhe, stated that all efforts should be made to bridge the learning gap of students and suggested the use of satellite television with prime examples such as Doordarshan DTH.
The reason for this suggestion was that a satellite TV such as Doordarshan DTH has more penetration in comparison to smartphones and does not require an internet facility, as per the sources.
Sahasrabuddhe also emphasised that specific, subject-wise classes can be broadcast on different or separate Doordarshan channels, complete in regional languages so that they can be watched by many students in remote areas. The members of the panel mentioned that this model has been adopted by states such as Gujarat and Odisha and other states may also do the same.
Furthermore, it was decided, as mentioned earlier that apart from the officials from the education ministry, officials from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and several states will be summoned at the next meeting of the panel to discuss the use of satellite television in terms of bridging the learning gap for students.