Acharya Devo Bhavah Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal

Acharya Devo Bhavah

Today Union Education Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ virtually interacted with teachers across the country on upcoming competitive and board exams.

Speaking on the occasion Shri Pokhriyal emphasized the importance of a Guru more than God and that is why we should respect all the teachers keeping the spirit of ‘Acharya Devo Bhavah’. He said that due to the efforts made by the teachers, the online education system of the country is proved successful. The Minister expressed his gratitude to all the teachers for spreading awareness relating to COVID-19 among the students and society at large. He thanked teachers for participating with full sincerity in this war against COVID 19.

On the question relating to Board Exam dates –

Shri Pokhriyal said that being a student-centric government, we have always worked in the interest of the students. Shri Pokhriyal in his statement said that CBSE is making necessary preparations for conducting the 2021 examinations. As far as the final dates for the examinations are concerned, Board exams will not be held in the month of February and CBSE will very soon announce the dates after discussion with the stakeholders, he added.

Regarding a suggestion on providing vocational education in class IX, the Minister said that there are approximately 8,583 CBSE schools that offer vocational education. He informed that over 2,80,000 secondary schools, nearly 40,000 colleges, and more than 1,000 universities are expected to provide vocational education with an internship after the implementation of NEP 2020.

Responding to the suggestion that Teachers should be given sufficient training regarding the implementation of Competency-Based Education in schools Shri Pokhriyal informed that the Ministry of education has implemented the NISHTHA programme, which is an online capacity-building programme for covering all 42,00,000 elementary school teachers and school heads of the country.  This programme was conducted face to face before the pandemic. However, in its wake, this programme was contextualized to the needs of teaching and learning during the pandemic and made 100% online.

Regarding the Mental Well Being of students, the Ministry has undertaken an initiative, named ‘MANODARPAN’ covering a wide range of activities to provide psychosocial support to students, teachers, and families for Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing during the COVID outbreak and beyond, Shri Pokhriyal informed. 

On the question relating to the digital divide due to lack of gadgets and sufficient network, the Minister said MoE has initiated the “coherence” model under PM E – Vidya. He said that the content available online on DIKSHA is now available through the SWAYAM PRABHA TV channel. Similarly, it will be available on the radio also. Therefore, it will not be necessary to have access to the internet only as TV and radio will also be coherent with online content, he added.

The Minister highlighted that Swayam Prabha DTH channels are meant to support and reach out to those students who do not have access to the internet.   In the Ministry of Education, a total of 32 channels are devoted to telecasting high-quality educational programmes, he informed.  Of these, 12 TV channels are earmarked for the one class, one TV channel under the Atma Nirbhar Bharat Programme for the Department of School Education and Literacy, he added.

On overcoming hurdles in conducting online classes the Minister said that we have been persistent with our efforts to leverage multimodal ways for delivering education– DIKSHA, Swayam Prabha, Community Radio, Shiksha Vani amongst others under the umbrella of PM E – Vidya. Further, states and UTs were advised to use Alternative Academic Calendar, Learning Enhancement Guidelines, and follow the Pragyata Guidelines on digital education, he added.

Regarding JEE:

Regarding the schedule and syllabus of entrance examinations, the Minister said that the syllabus of the JEE (Main) 2021 examination will remain the same as it was last year. However, in order to overcome the impact of the reduction of syllabus undertaken by some Boards, the question papers for JEE (Main) 2021 will have 90 questions (30 questions each in Physics, Chemistry & Mathematics), out of which the candidate will have to answer 75 questions (25 questions each in Physics, Chemistry & Mathematics), he added.

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