The Vice President, M Venkaiah Naidu called for bridging the digital divide to achieve universal primary education and ensure equitable secondary and higher education.
Releasing the book, ‘Future of Education-Nine Megatrends’, he said “technology opens up new possibilities but also makes us realize the big digital divide in our society”.
Stressing the need to make technology accessible and affordable, the Vice President pointed out that there were many children who did not have access to digital devices. “We will have to address the issue of this wide gap”, the Vice President added.
Naidu said that a large number of students were impacted due to the lockdown as they find it hard to study online. Many of them need hand holding to shift from offline to online and require proper training to pursue education through online modes.
Stating that many parents in India still cannot afford digital devices, he said that bridging the digital divide was too big and complex for the government alone to accomplish the task and urged the private sector, especially educational technology firms to contextualize the products at affordable prices as per the needs of learners..
With educational institutions going digital in the context of the pandemic, the Vice President said students and teachers were connecting through cloud-based platforms to communicate, share work, and complete projects. “Examinations are also being conducted online”, he added.
Urging teachers to impart teaching in tune with the changing requirements, the Vice President said that students can access machines anytime from anywhere in the wake of online laboratories. “The teacher now plays the role of a facilitator, guide, counselor, coach and many times that of a friend to the student”, he added.