Under the National Digital Education Architecture (NDEAR), the Ministry of Education is pushing States to open Vidya Samiksha Kendras (VSKs).
About the initiative:
Vidya Samiksha Kendras (VSKs) are an open-source platform run on C-Qube software to collect data from all schemes run by the Ministry of Education (MoE).
Source of Data:
This will include regularly updated data from the PM-POSHAN mid-day meal programmes; teacher training data from National Initiative for School Heads’ and Teachers’ Holistic Advancement portal; textbook content from Digital Infrastructure for Knowledge Sharing; school dropout and attendance-related data on Unified District Information System for Education (UDISE+); students’ learning outcomes from National Achievement Survey; and Performance Grading Index which evaluates school education system at the State/U.T. level.
Implementation: ‘EkStep Foundation’, a non-profit organisation is on board in an advisory role for implementing the VSK project.
Need of such an initiative:
Currently the data are fed on the platform manually, and available in downloadable Excel format for anyone to access and use, to visualise and analyse trends.
VSK will shift from manual mode to automatic mode once the Application Programming Interface (API) integration process is complete.
Fund allocation: The Centre has allocated funds ranging from 2 to Rs. 5 crore to each State for adopting and establishing VSKs that include pre-configured open-source hardware and software as well as hiring human resources.
States like Gujarat, Maharashtra, Odisha, and Jharkhand have already begun the process of setting up the tech platform.
Significance: The idea of developing VSKs is allow mapping of the school location layer with the population layer to assess the Gross Access Ratio, which can help plan for new schools, or for industry clusters to understand skilling requirements of the area, and help plan higher educational institutions based on demand and future scenarios.
National Digital Education Architecture (NDEAR):
NDEAR is an architectural blueprint for the educational ecosystem in the country that defines a set of principles, standards and specifications, guidelines and policies to strengthen the digital infrastructure for education.
It is under the Ministry of Education in collaboration with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.
Under this, the government will not be building technology solutions for the education sector but will act as an enabler, offering a framework wherein technology can be developed and built by anyone.
It promotes a ‘digital first’ approach, supporting teaching and learning activities, and facilitating educational planning as well as governance and administrative activities.
It aims at creating a digital foundation driving towards autonomy and self-governance of all parties involved, particularly states and the Centre.
NDEAR’s institutional structure, date, governance framework and technology will benefit both the student and the teacher community alike.
Solutions that adhere to NDEAR frameworks and standards would be considered NDEAR-compliant.
The framework implies that systems and solutions that worked in one state can be shared across the country and adapted in other parts. Systems that are not NDEAR-compliant would work in silos not being able to be leveraged by others.
NDEAR is not a centrally-controlled framework and it is inherently federated to ensure the autonomy of all stakeholders including the states.
It is to be noted that NDEAR is not a platform, technology software or solution, application or portal, but an architectural blueprint.