Experts question Centre’s push to set up 200 TV channels for Classes 1-12

Experts fighting for schools to reopen question the Center’s move to set up TV channels to provide additional education to students in grades 1 to 12, claiming it is driving learning loss during the Covid pandemic will not compensate.

In presenting the Union’s budget for 2022-23, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman acknowledged that as a result of the pandemic-induced closure of schools, children, particularly in the rural areas, and those of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, and other weaker sections, nearly two have lost. years of formal education.

The government has proposed expanding the ‘one class one TV channel’ program with 200 channels to provide additional education in regional languages ​​in schools for grades 1 to 12.

“Compensate for two years of learning loss by setting up TV channels, really????? It shows that we don’t take our children’s learning loss seriously. Open the schools and get children back for personal learning. Invest in school education,” tweeted Chandrakant Lahariya, an epidemiologist and government policy specialist who speaks out against prolonged school closures.

Yamini Aiyar, president of the Center for Policy Research, tweeted: “kudos to the finance minister for acknowledging the loss from two years of school closure, but in reality one class one TV, e-content is NOT the answer. Opening schools in the en (sic). Are we that blind to the reality on the ground?”

The total funding allocation for the education sector for 2022-23 has been increased to Rs 1.04 lakh crore from Rs 93,224 crore (budget) in 2021-22 as the minister emphasized digital education methods to reverse learning losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic . The revised estimate for 2021-22 is Rs 88,001 crore.

A digital university to be built on the ‘hub-and-spoke’ model and the extension of the ‘one class one TV channel’ program over 200 channels to provide complementary education in regional languages ​​in schools are among the main initiatives proposed in the education sector by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her budget speech on Tuesday.

“A large part of the budget this year will go to the digitization of higher education and that is a point of great concern. The announcement of the digital university and PM e-vidya scheme will only give GER a statistical improvement without increasing government spending on education. With a huge digital divide and families short of resources and gadgets in India, there is a need for more schools and higher education institutions on the ground than in cyberspace,” Academics for Action and Development (AAD), a group of the University of Delhi teachers, said in a statement.

“The idea of ​​replacing human teachers with digital teachers in the digital university is not suitable for India, where the sheer diversity among students requires different explanations for better understanding. Second, it will lead to job losses as a large number of eligible and NET qualified aspirants are looking for teaching jobs,” it added.

Sajal Jain
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