NCERT Initiatives for Inclusive and Accessible Education
Efforts toward equitable education and inclusive education aim to address educational needs that arise as a result of belonging to SEDG's as well as those that arise despite having no association with SEDGs. Addressing the special educational needs demands availability of resources in multiple modes and flexiility in content delivery for personalized adaptive learning. Mentioned below are the major initiatives taken by NCERT for making education accessible to all including children belonging to SEDG's, recognized in NEP 2020.
E-pathshala, a mobile app and portal , launched by the Ministry of Education, serves as a platform to provide free access to the NCERT books and eContents for students, teachers and parents.Apart from textbooks dedicated material is also available for teachers and parents. All NCERT textbooks of Class 1 to 12 are available on mobile application platform, Urdu, Hindi and English language that are downloadable chapter wise pdf format.
- Enable TTS to Listen to NCERT textbooks through Epathshala Mobile App
Barkhaa : UDL based Reading Series for 'All'
Barkhaa Series is a supplementary ‘Graded Reading Series’ formulated with the objective of enabling children to develop reading skills during the early years, as a pedagogic tool aimed at helping the children of Classes I and II in learning to read with meaning and to arouse in them the urge to read more and more. The Series has forty stories spread across four levels (Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, Level 4) and five themes (Relationships, Birds-Animals, Musical Instruments, Games and Toys, Around Us, and Food) knit around children’s contexts and their everyday experiences our intended readers’ age.
Teaching Learning Resources in Indian Sign Language
This initiative realizes and promotes inclusion of students with HI in mainstream education. Following the principles of UDL following resources are developed in ISL. Aiming to create opportunities for students from all sections of society, a key component of CIET NCERT’s efforts towards accessible education is developing inclusivity for special needs students. As a part of the efforts to build UDL based learning systems that advocate sensitivity and awareness for this section of the society ISL based Teaching learning resources have been developed for hearing impaired students. WIth new content being created every single day a variety of options are developed that are compatible with the skills available to these students.
Accessibility Concerns in NCERT Textbooks
- NCERT textbooks cover inclusion and accessibility comprehensively across school stages and subjects in a natural and integrated manner.
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The textbooks in audio format, using drama and sound of animals, picture description etc are developed with the aim to enhance accessibility for CWVU and also for realizing the need of anytime and anywhere access.
Priya-The Accessibility Warrior
The comic book named “Priya -The Accessibility Warrior” was created. The comic book named “Priya -The Accessibility Warrior” provides glimpses into the world of a girl named Priya who met an accident and her leg was plastered. This book brings the message of accessibility and helps in spreading the actionable points for enhancing accessibility. The comic book is available on DIKSHA Portal, E-Pathshala, and NCERT website for everyone to access and read the comic book with embedded ISL video and audio in flipbook, pdf and ePub.
This initiative promotes day to day communication in 22 scheduled Indian languages and ISL . Through this initiative, cultural and language inclusion is attempted and a Bhasha Sangam App compatible with ios and android is created. The app has 100+ sentences, designed on different themes that allow people to learn basic conversation in 22 Indian languages, test themselves and generate online certificates. The app aims to foster the spirit of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat by enabling people across India to learn different languages of different states of India and come closer to their culture.
Teachers support material on Inclusive Education
The handbooks for teachers on Inclusive Education to provide exemplary guidelines for meeting the special needs of children in an inclusive classroom. Successful inclusion practices highlight the significance of not only the presence of children in the class but also the quality of their experiences and their achievement across the curriculum. The handbooks manuals and guidelines providehandholding for the teachers and guides them and other stakeholders towards future action.
PM eVidya is an innovative and unique initiative by the Ministry of Education, Government of India to sustain education by leveraging ICT. The major components of PMeVIDYA includes 12 DTH channels (one class, one channel), community radio stations, content for Divyangs (CwSNs), podacts, etc.. Takes advantage of the several streaming patforms available accross the country to telecast educational content in audio/video mediums.
DIKSHA (Digital Infrastucture for knowledge sharing): One nation one digital platform
DIKSHA is a state-of-the-art platform built using open source technology it hosts digital curriculam content and hosts continuous professional development (CPD).
SWAYAM seeks to bridge the digital divide for students who have hitherto remained untouched by the digital revolution and have not been able to join the mainstream of the knowledge economy. All the courses under SWAYAM MOOC are interactive, prepared by the best teachers in the country and are available, free of cost to any learner. More than 1,000 specially chosen faculty and teachers from across the country have participated in preparing these courses. The courses hosted on SWAYAM are in 4 quadrants – (1) video lecture, (2) specially prepared reading material that can be downloaded/printed (3) self-assessment tests through tests and quizzes and (4) an online discussion forum for clearing the doubts.
The Department of School Education and Literacy has launched a National Mission to improve learning outcomes at the elementary level through an Integrated Teacher Training Programme called NISHTHA under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Samagra Shiksha in 2019-20. NISHTHA (National Mission to improve learning outcomes at the elementary level) is a capacity building programme for "Improving Quality of School Education through Integrated Teacher Training". It aims to build competencies among all the teachers and school principals at the elementary stage. NISHTHA is the world's largest teachers' training programme of its kind.The basic objective of this massive training programme is to motivate and equip teachers to encourage and foster critical thinking in students. The initiative is first of its kind wherein standardized training modules are developed at national level for all States and UTs.
Augmented Reality / Virtual Reality
The e-Pathshala AR (Augmented Reality) App is an initiative of NCERT under the aegis of MHRD-Government of India, aiming to energise the textbooks, augment child to child, teacher to teacher, child to adult interaction. This App aims to enable students to go beyond textbooks and four wall of the classrooms. With the aim to invoke curiosity and intrigue in the students because of the augmented interaction, the students will hence be able to learn concepts by directly experimenting rather than only through reading and memorization. This effort intends to be a revolutionary effort to change the majority of student’s community from passive listeners to active learners. This effort is in line with Prime Minister’s Digital India vision to empower varied sectors using technology and addressing the triple need of skill, scale and speed.
Tactile Map Book
Aiming to create opportunities for students from all sections of society, a key component of CIET NCERT’s efforts towards accessible education is developing inclusivity for special needs students. As a part of the efforts to build UDL based learning systems that advocate sensitivity and awareness for this section of the society, tactile map books are developed for visually impaired students. The Tactile Map Book uses the latest state-of-the-art techniques to produce embossed (tactile) maps that are easy to comprehend via touch. The maps have been thoroughly tested and re-iterated based on the feedback generated by a number of visually impaired students and organizations working for the blind. This book contains 7 tactile maps covering the physical, geo-political and environmental representations of India along with their description in Braille.