- Student dropout due to new policy
- The importance of ‘online’ in ‘blended’ policy
- Appeal to teachers to make suggestions on drafts
- Teachers point fingers at inconveniences in rural areas
The University Grants Commission has adopted a new ‘blended’, flexible education policy, making radical changes in higher education. The Mumbai University and College Teachers Union (BUKTU) has expressed fears that this will increase the dropout rate of students.
Online learning has gained special importance in the Coronation Age. The University Grants Commission is considering how to impart skills to as many students as possible through the use of this medium of education. The concept of ‘Blended Mode of Teaching and Learning’ has been proposed based on the Right to Education Act. A draft has been released and suggestions have been invited. In this draft, a panel of experts has advocated for both online and offline education. Online learning can be remote or virtual. Also the education of each class will have a study evaluation. This student will be able to learn different courses from different educational institutions of the same university. The role of the best teacher will be to impart knowledge. It has also been clarified that the teachers will be the guides of the students.
While making suggestions in this regard, Buktu has presented the reality of how this concept is incomplete. At present one crore 25 lakh students are participating on the platform itself. However, ten crore students are pursuing higher education. In other words, only 12.4 per cent students are using the online platform of higher education. In addition, inadequate online facilities in rural areas have not been considered in the draft. Adopting a blended education policy also requires a major overhaul of infrastructure. Buktu also suggested that the necessary instructions be given to make these facilities available to the students free of cost or at low cost.
While giving the role of mentor to the teacher, technology cannot be a substitute for the teacher. In addition, students will be awarded diplomas or other certificates at various stages. The letter also expressed fears that this would further increase the dropout rate in higher education. He also demanded that the commission withdraw the draft.
The Commission should give these instructions
Buktu also suggested that the commission should announce a special policy to support students in the current situation. The policy requires suggestions on measures to prevent students from dropping out or dropping out of school due to economic circumstances. He said there was a need for a policy on compensation for contract teachers as well as non-teaching staff.