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  1. 1. MEDIA AND EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY (INCLUDING USE OF COMPUTERS IN EDUCATION) I. PRESENT SITUATION Several efforts have been made in the past to use technological aids for improving the quality of education. Audio-visual units and film libraries were set up at the Centre and in the States for promoting the use of educational films and projection/ non-projection aids. Educational Technology cells were also established in 21 States/UTs in a phased manner and a Centre of Educational Technology was set up in the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) to stimulate the use of television and other instructional media. School radio broadcasts have been in vogue for more than 40 years. AIR's Educational Programme-Production units, set up in 44 of the network's 88 stations, produce radio programmes for primary and secondary schools, which are presently broadcast by 74 stations. General enrichment programmes of 15-20 minutes duration are relayed 3-5 school days per week for primary school children. Programmes for secondary school students are broadcast for 15-20 minutes on all school days. AIR stations at Delhi, Jalandhar, Hyderabad and all stations in Tamilnadu also broadcast programmes 5-7 days a week, in support of the correspondence courses conducted by Universities. 3-4 adult-education programmes are broadcast per week by 14 AIR radio stations. 2. Curriculum-based school TV programmes for secondary school students are presently being telecast by 4 Doordarshan kendras. Educational Television (ETV programmes) of general enrichment for children in the age group 5-11 years are being telecast in the respective regional languages through satellite, six days a week, in the 6 INSAT States, and are being relayed by all transmitters in the 4 other Hindi-speaking States. A 1-hour general enrichment programme for University/College students is also being telecast daily. 2,000 VHF and 2,1000 Direct Reception Sets (DRS) have been provided for community viewing in selected village clusters in the 6 INSAT States, installed mostly in the village schools. Under the "INSAT for EDUCATION" project, launched in 1982, State Institutes of Educational project, launched in 1982, State Institutes of Educational Technology (SIETs) are being set up in the States of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Orissa and Uttar Pradesh and a Central Institute of Educational Technology (CIET) has been established in the NCERT, with 100% Central assistance, to generate educational software for children. Audio-visual Research Centres (AVRCs) and Educational Media Research Centres (EMRCs) have also been set up in 6 Universities to prepare educational TV programmes for University/College students. Some facilities for TV programme/production have also been developed In the Technical Teacher Training Institutions (TTTIs). 181 3. Video Technology has also appeared on the educational horizon. The Electronics Trade and Technology Development Corporation (ET&T) has formulated a. "TELETEACH" project to prepare educational software on videotape. VCRs and viewing equipment would be provided in about 600
  2. 2. viewing centres to be established in schools this year. The Ministry has also identified certain subject areas in which educational software would be developed by ET&T. 4. Computer-education courses at the Master's level (NCA) are presently being offered in 25 Universities, in addition 'to the Ph.D., M.Tech. and B.Tech. programmes conducted by the IITs and other technological institutions. Diploma level programmes are being run in 35 polytechnics. With the introduction of the Computer Literacy and Studies in Schools (CLASS) project, computers) for long the preserve of select research and technological institutions, have transcended these barriers and entered the schools. 750 secondary/higher secondary schools have been provided with micro-computers to familiarise students and teachers with the range of computer applications and their potential as a learning medium. TARGETS ARISING AS AN IMPLICATION OF THE NPE AND PRIORITY MEASURES DURING THE VIITH PLAN 5. The following tasks would emerge from the NPE statements: (i) Expand the TV and Radio transmission network to: Provide minimum ETV and Radio programme coverage for identified target groups in all major language zones by 1990 - establish Radio stations in teaching Universities/Colleges during the VIIth Plan - provide a dedicated educational TV channel by 1991-92 -create a dedicated satellite system for educational needs in the long-term; (ii) Expansion of in-house programme-production facilities to generate adequate capacity in major Indian languages by 1990, and in other languages during the VIIIth Plan; (iii) Development of facilities/organisations for production, duplication and dissemination of curricular support material using non-braodcast methods/graphic teaching aids during the VIIth Plan; (iv) Development of training programmes/facilities for manpower generation for educational media during the VIIth Plan; 182 (v) Provide Radio receivers in all primary/elementary schools during the VIIth Plan and TV sets to all schools by 1995; (vi) -Eliminating elements of consumerism, violence etc. from media programmes without delay; (vii) Expand existing/initiate new programmes for computer-manpower development during the VIIth Plan to reach desired levels by 1995; (viii) Integration of computer-education modules in professional and general education courses at first- degree level and provision of computer facilities in these institutionsinitiated in the VIIth Plan to be completed by 1995;
  3. 3. (ix) Introduction of elective computer-science courses at higher-secondary level during the VIIth Plan; (x) Extension of 'computer literacy programmes to cover all higher-secondary schools by 1991, secondary schools by 1995 and elementary schools in the long-term; (xi) Establish a national Centre of Educational Informatics during the V11th Plan; (xii) Mount a technology mission to develop a reliable source of electric supply to schools in remote areas by 1990. III. STRATEGY ENVISAGED AND BASIC PRE-REQUISITES 6. The National Policy emphasises that "In order to avoid structural dualism, modern educational technology should reach out to the most distant areas and most deprived sections of beneficiaries simultaneously with the areas of comparative affluence and ready availability". This approach would intrinsically favour the use of broadcast methods, with their inherent advantages of greater reach, convenience of management and cost-effectiveness, over the non- broadcast methods largely oriented to individual learning. Because it is not possible to broadcast programmes for every class through Radio and TV, coordinated with their teaching schedule, these media can be utilised effectively only far enrichment of the learning process, and to transmit course material for distance education. However, the extent to which media like Radio and TV can be used in the service off education is, inter alia, dependent on the transmission capability of the network as well as the manner in which competing claims on broadcast time are sought to be rationalised. Large scale use of Audio and Video programmes in broadcast and non-broadcast modes would also generate enormous demand for qualified manpower to work in educational media set-ups. In the long-run, it would be desirable and probably essential that maintenance structures be decentralised, both organisationally and geographically, and local "technician- entrepreneurs" could be trained for such responsibilities. Education requires media support which is 183 related to the curriculum as well as enrichment. Curriculum-based education also requires materials which the teacher can draw upon in the course of this teaching. This could be provided in the form of charts, slides, transparencies etc. Video technology offers considerable potential for improving the quality of education especially at higher levels. 7. Exposure and training in the use of computers in professional education implies intensified manpower-development programmes for computer professionals at different levels and integration of computer-education modules in all professionals disciplines, and even in the general education courses at the first-degree level; together with the provision of necessary staff 'and facilities in these institutions. Computers can play an important role in enhancing the efficiency of the teaching-learning process, to make children more creative and provide them with an individualised learning environment. Computer literacy will be crucial in preparing children to cope with the micro-computer explosion, which has the same potential for social change as the industrial revolution. The demands of equity would, therefore, require that computer literacy programmes be progressively integrated with the school curriculum at lower-secondary and elementary levels.
  4. 4. 8. Educational technology offers the means to reach large numbers in remote and inaccessible areas, remove disparity in educational facilities available to the disadvantaged and provide individualised instruction to learners conveniently suited to their needs and pace of learning. However, all technology requires supporting infrastructure, and unless that infrastructure, like trained manpower, competent and willing teachers, school buildings etc., exists, no technology-direct or distance-- is likely to succeed. One of the major hurdles in the way of introducing modern technology in the rural hinterland is the availability of assured electric supply. Providing a source of assured electricity is a pre-requisite for using technological options in the service of education, and needs to be addressed on priority. IV. ROLE OF VARIOUS ORGANISATIONS 9. The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting should jointly evolve a long- term perspective for media usage. The CIET and the UGC must continue to discharge a coordinating role, as well as provide the necessary leadership and guidance to the State agencies/ Universities in setting up and managing production facilities, training of their staff, design of support material and tools for evaluation and programme research. The State Governments and their agencies would be responsible for the production of locally relevant programmes for the target audiences, supply and maintenance of received systems, production and distribution of support material, audience research and evaluation studies, and the recruitment and training of production staff and user custodians of receiving sets. Voluntary agencies and individual 184 producers will be involved in all these activities to the extent possible. The Department of-Electronics, as the policy-making body in the field of computers, should be closely involved in the planning and development of various manpower programmes as at present, and in identifying the hardware needs of different educational institutions. The State Governments and their agencies, the UGC and other statutory bodies governing professional education at higher levels would share the responsibility for bringing about necessary changes in curriculum and admission requirements of various courses, accreditation and providing infrastructural requirements. Since the measures suggested involve considerable investment in hardware facilities and would require expert guidance at all stages of implementation, the central government will have to continue to play a substantial role in the planning and implementation of this programme.