Students will learn self-reliance at school-level under NEP: Pokhriyal

The National Education Policy has the capacity to make students Atmanirbhar or self-reliant right from the school-level, said Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, Minister of Education during his inaugural address at the India Education Summit (IES) 2021. The three-day virtual event that began today will see participation from stakeholders from the government, school, university, policy, and e-learning platforms.

During his address, Pokhriyal said, “By connecting students with the internships, vocational training as a student reaches class 6, we will imbibe atmanirbharta (self-reliance) in a student. By the time these students will complete school education, they will be warriors who can take on any task,” said Pokhriyal.

India will be the first country to introduce artificial intelligence (AI) at the school level. Usually, AI is being taught at IITs and specialised colleges but we would start by giving the education right from school level, he added.

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While he praised the academicians for taking on the mammoth task of moving online within a couple of months, he also acknowledged that the online-education access has not reached everyone.

Stating that in the past months, the education sector has moved rapidly in the ed-tech space which would have otherwise taken decades, he said, “Now, we have the challenge of bringing the 33 crore students online in the digital space.”

“We have tried to reach students who do not have access to the internet via television, radio. About 10-20 per cent of students are yet to have digital access,” he added.

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“We have already asked the top 100 universities under the NIRF ranking to impart online education. IITs, IIMs, KVs, IISERs have worked in this direction. We are creating a base for the future where regardless of the situation, India will continue its education. The online and offline preparations are simultaneously being carried out,” said Pokhriyal.

The event was joined by dignitaries from across the sector who discussed some of the pressing issues. Tomorrow’s session will begin with an address by NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant. Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia also address the event tomorrow followed by some panel discussions. The Indian Education Summit 2021 will conclude on January 11.

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