The NEP 2020 places a particular emphasis on distance learning and online schooling by using Virtual science labs. To maximize the advantages digital learning may provide to students in India, some educational establishments, including universities and institutes such as NITs and IGNOU, will launch online learning platforms. There will be an update to lab simulation tools and platforms such as DIKSHA and SWAYAM (Study Webs of Active Learning for Young Aspiring Minds), which will provide fresh insight into training material, in-class resources, assessment aids, profiles, and other elements that will make the interaction more fluid. Additionally, it emphasizes the development of public digital infrastructure that is also interoperable and can be used by many platforms.
While the pandemic persisted, India's educational system underwent a time of introspection and development. The second-largest school-going population in the world, more than 260 million children, were put under lockdown as the infectious coronavirus illness spread. However, in order to continue educating pupils, educational institutions went to tremendous pains to find a swift solution to the problem.
Learning was placed in traditional classrooms until schools and institutions were mandated to switch to online education. This gave rise to the development of online learning platforms. This unexpected and abrupt move, with little training, inadequate bandwidth, and a lack of facilities for students to attend online courses, emphasized the digital gap that exists in the nation. The new policy deals with these problems. NEP emphasizes developing digital infrastructure as we progress toward a new normal in which online learning will be the norm.
Thanks to the proliferation of virtual laboratories, which will be developed in greater numbers, students will have remote access to experiment-based learning. The utilization of digital technologies like virtual field trips, AR/VR in experiments, and online lectures demonstrates the policy's strong emphasis on experiential learning. CBSE class 9th science can be taught using virtual labs. As a consequence of this, the use of these cutting-edge technologies will lead to an improvement in the quality of the immersive learning experiences.
Virtual classrooms and e-content
The strategy is also forward-thinking in that it provides every student in the country with access to online learning and virtual classrooms. The best approach to start off intelligent classroom interaction will be through webinars and face-to-face interactions. In the event that conventional teaching methods are ineffective during times of crisis, such as the current epidemic, it is also intended to provide alternatives to education.
Reforms in school curricula and pedagogy
A greater emphasis will be placed on experiential learning. The school curricula and teaching methods will aim for the holistic development of students by providing them with the essential skills for the 21st century, reducing the amount of content in the curriculum to boost crucial learning and critical thinking, and reducing the amount of content in the curriculum. The students will have a greater degree of leeway regarding their topic selection. There will be no strict divisions between the arts and sciences, required and optional activities, or academic and vocational training tracks. The students can quickly learn science by using science learning apps. The sixth grade will be the starting point for school vocational education and will involve internships.
Edtechs at a brighter spot
The educational technology industry may now take advantage of a new slew of prospects due to the new legislation. Its goal is to provide a wide variety of educational services, such as online courses, which will be made accessible in English, Hindi, and other regional languages. To further improve the efficacy of online education, NEP aspires to provide, in addition to digital material, learning applications, satellite-based television channels, and professional development opportunities for instructors. Both the digitalization of education and education itself has the potential to be the conductors of the pedagogical shift that is occurring in India. The E-learning wagon of the Education sector has gained its velocity in both K-12 and higher education thanks to the National Education Policy Act of 2020 (NEP 2020). Some Edtechs help the students to perform online lab experiments.
These curious minds will progress beyond information education and into applicative education due to initiatives such as Eon Science and Eon Labs, which will make more sense to them. More innovation will be sparked due to technological developments such as artificial intelligence (AI) and the introduction of various new gadgets and tools at educational institutions. This will help to feed the ecosystem for start-up businesses. In keeping with the ethos of Start-up India and Make in India, the production of self-sufficient job opportunities, the culture of entrepreneurship, and the inventive ecosystem will become more natural. Digitization led to innovations like virtual labs for physics which can be used to learn physics.
The pandemic has led to a change in how the students view information. To address the issues caused by the digital divide and integrate all students into a virtual classroom, public-private collaboration should be encouraged even more. Despite the absence of formal classrooms, education has continued. Numerous educational institutions are currently thinking about innovative methods for delivering curriculum that are aimed at producing significant results. For example, virtual labs for chemistry can provide straightforward explanations for some complicated chemical reactions.
Even today, digital connectivity in the form of a good internet connection is restricted in rural regions. However, by providing educational programming geared at the student population of that specific region, mass media such as television and radio play an essential part in this context and play a significant function. In addition, many virtual labs for bio are available to help students interested in biology. By implementing suitable network connections in previously underserved areas, the digital gap was closed as part of the National Education Technology Plan (NEP) 2020, which led to the extension of online education to previously underserved regions.