The use of information and communications technology (ICT) in school education under the initiative PM eVIDYA, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, has won the Ministry of Education UNESCO’s King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa Prize for the year 2021.
The PM eVIDYA has been initiated as part of Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan by the Ministry of Education on 17 May 2020, unifying all efforts related to digital or online or on-air education to enable multi-mode access for imparting education by using technology to minimise learning losses.
Central Institute of Educational Technology (CIET), a constituent unit of National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) under Department of School Education and Literacy (DOSEL), Ministry of Education (MoE), Government of India has bagged the award. The award recognises innovative approaches in leveraging new technologies to expand educational and lifelong learning opportunities for all, in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Goal 4 on Education.
Established in 2005 with the support of the Kingdom of Bahrain, the King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa Prize rewards individuals and organisations that are implementing outstanding projects and promoting the creative use of technologies to enhance learning, teaching and overall educational performance in the digital age. An international Jury selects two best projects annually. Each prize winner receives $25,000, a medal and a diploma during a ceremony at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris. The felicitation ceremony will be held on 24 June this year.
The Centre has the mandate to deploy affordable technology for enhancing educational opportunities for all, augmenting the quality of education, and bringing equity into the educational system keeping in view the recommendations of NEP-2020.
The ministry of education through CIET, NCERT has been working in designing, developing and disseminating a large number of eBooks, eContent — audios, videos, interactives, augmented reality contents, Indian Sign Language (ISL) videos, audiobooks, talking books, etc.; a variety of eCourses for school and teacher education; organising digital events like online quizzes, primarily for students and teachers, through leveraging online/offline, on-air technology One Class-One Channel, DIKSHA, ePathshala, NISHTHA, school MOOCs on SWAYAM, and others, said the official statement issued on the UNESCO award.