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Pragyata: Guidelines of HRD ministry for online education

Union HRD Ministry today released its guidelines for Digital called Pragyata. Recommending a cap on the screen time for students, the guidelines say online classes for pre-primary students should not be for more than 30 min.

Pragyata further mentions that two online sessions of up to 30-45 minutes each should be conducted for classes 1 to 8 and four sessions for classes 9 to 12.

Earlier today, HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ tweeted, “Introducing ‘PRAGYATA’: Guidelines on #DigitalEducation for school heads, teachers, parents, and students containing recommended screen time for children, tips on coping with mental/physical stress during #DigitalLearning & more. Stay tuned for more details.”

The PRAGYATA guidelines include eight steps of online education, namely Plan, Review, Arrange, Guide, Yak(talk), Assign, Track and Appreciate.

While the letters of the name the ministry has given to the guidelines may be an acronym, no such word exists in standard or Sanskrit where abstract noun pragyā means wisdom and the wise are called prāgya.

The guidelines outline suggestions for administrators, school heads, teachers, parents, and students in the following areas:

1. Need assessment

2. Concerns while planning online and digital like duration, screen time, inclusiveness, balanced online and offline activities, etc level-wise

3. Modalities of intervention including resource curation, level-wise delivery, etc.

4. Physical, mental health, and wellbeing during digital

5. Cyber safety and ethical practices including precautions and measures for maintaining cyber safety

6. Collaboration and convergence with various initiatives

Earlier, to reduce possible stress on students during these ‘locked down’ times, the CBSE and ICSE boards had announced considerable reductions in their respective syllabi.

“To mitigate the impact of the pandemic, schools will not only have to remodel and reimagine the way teaching and learning have happened so far but will also need to introduce a suitable method of delivering quality through a healthy mix of schooling at home and schooling at school,” HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal said today.

“The guidelines have been developed from the perspective of learners, with a focus on online, blended, digital for students who are presently at home due to the lockdown. These guidelines on digital education provide a roadmap or pointers for carrying forward online education to enhance the quality of education,” the minister added.

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