As part of the Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA 1.0) program, a virtual learning project was started in 2017 at the Directorate for Distance and Continuing Education (DDCE) of the University of Utkal. A studio was set up to create audio-video-based curricula and problem-solving content at +3 level in bilingual mode (Odia and English).
After creating video lectures, the government planned to embed them in a pen drive or tablet PC and make them available to students in disadvantaged areas at Utkal University, Berhampur University, Sambalpur University, Fakir Mohan University, and North Odisha University deliver.
A meeting of the monitoring committee on this virtual tutorial project took place here on August 20th. Minutes of the meeting, released on Wednesday, focused on the use of these video lectures by students and teachers during this pandemic.
Higher Education Secretary Saswat Mishra said in the report that the prepared e-content (recorded lectures) should be uploaded to Utkal University’s website and given free access so that students and teachers can use it to their advantage. “In the first week of September, once the prepared e-content is uploaded to the website, a separate circular will be sent to all universities in the state,” he added.
A teacher from Utkal University said the video presentations could have been uploaded at the start of the pandemic in late March. “After five months, why did it take the department so long to understand the importance of quality e-content? Even the studio can be used for online courses during this time, but nothing has been done about it,” added he added.
Asoka Kumar Das, vice chairman of the Odisha State Higher Education Council, said
“The prepared e-content should first be uploaded to the existing server at Utkal University. Now the courses have started and the recorded lectures will be helpful to the students,” he added.
He said the department had planned to produce common reference materials for undergraduate and graduate students, but it stopped when they discovered that universities looked after good reference materials.