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DTH News : Idiot box? HRD ministry eyes 24x7 education channel
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After a Lok Sabha channel and plans for a Rajya Sabha one, the next government-run television channel may be a 24X7 dedicated school education channel to be called “Gyan Darshan”. With the HRD ministry giving its in-principle approval, the National Council for Education Research & Training (NCERT) has been appointed as the nodal agency for the proposed channel.

At present, educational programmes created by the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) for Doordarshan are already being run under the head of “Gyan Darshan”. The information & broadcasting ministry will soon be approached to make available this dedicated channel on the Direct to Home (DTH) networks.

While the focus will be school education, open learning and adult education segments may also be a part of the programme content. The channel is expected to be highly instrumental in the process of teacher training, which has acquired greater urgency with the Right to Education Act coming into effect last year. The norms outlined by RTE will require massive recruitment of teachers at school level and regular training for them.

Currently, the NCERT has plans to train 50,000 teachers in integrating Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the teaching-learning process. The 24X7 channel could provide considerable help in achieving this mammoth task.

The proposal for the school education channel was first placed before Union HRD Minister Kapil Sibal on August 16 last year. It is also on the agenda of the State Education Ministers’ meeting scheduled for January 17, to invite collaboration on the project.

Besides the NCERT, the Central Institute of Educational Technology (CIET) and the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) are also working on developing content for the channel.

It has been decided that while the NCERT will be the nodal agency, NIOS will be the collaborating agency. The Electronic Media Production Centre at IGNOU will be responsible for uplinking programmes received from CIET, NCERT and through its Earth station.

Many other agencies like the Films Division, Doordarshan, Vigyan Prasar, SIETs (State Institutes of Educational Technology), Adult Literacy Department and State SSA departments will also be invited to collaborate in content development.

The CIET and NIOS have proposed an estimated expenditure of Rs 6.3 crore and non-recurring expenditure of about Rs 86 lakh for making the channel operational.

Source: The Financial Express

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