On the 11th of June, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar attended the inaugural ceremony of a week-long Teachers’ Workshop at the India Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi. In his speech, Javadekar mentioned the digital education system already enabled by the government- SWAYAM (Study Webs of Active-Learning for Young Aspiring Minds) to broaden the forum of digital education.
Within the upcoming one year, he says, the government will provide 2000 online courses and SWAYAM will be the medium through which this vision of digital education with take the wheels of reality.
The Minister describes SWAYAM platform as ‘ATL- Anytime Learning’. SWAYAM provides quality education on high school, graduate and post-graduate levels with a network that is expected to collaborate with 10 lakh users anytime, anywhere.
The courses have a large array of variety ranging from forensic science and cognitive science to anthropology and retail management. These courses are available to the students in Massive Online and Open Courses (MOOCs).
The portal is extensively interactive and is easily accessible through computers and smartphones. These courses provide e-content, activities, assessments and introductory videos for learners.
The HRD ministry collaborated with Microsoft as a technology associate for this scheme. Along with advantages such as language support, accessibility beyond the physical boundaries, help to prepare for entrance exam, multimedia digital resources etc. there are several challenges attached to it.
In the current situation, insufficient infrastructure poses as a big challenge of organizing MOOCs in India. Digital Literacy, Certification, slow internet speed and little accessibility to multimedia content are among other challenges for SWAYAM.
The government’s schemes to spread e-Literacy and provide a nation-wide optimum fibre will soon help overcome these challenges and give a heads-up to SWAYAM. With e-Literacy and SWAYAM coming together, digital education will reach to each corner of the country in full capacity to provide quality education.