As part of the policy for universal education, the Maharashtra government has tied up with Google to enable remote learning for 2.30 crore students and teachers, officials said here on Thursday.
Under this collaboration, students and teachers will access blended learning programmes that combine classroom approach with online learning including free tools like G Suite for Education, Google Classroom, Google Meet and others.
This makes Maharashtra the first state in the country to launch G Suite for Education and Google Classroom for the students currently engaged in online learning, owing to the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown.
The state government will provide individual educators and students their own G Suite ID to ensure all students in private or government schools in the remotest areas can experience continuity in learning, besides enhancing the teaching capabilities of educators.
“In the Corona crisis when the world is at a standstill, how to restart education is one of the primary concerns we face today. I feel this global crisis has led us from the present to the future,” Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said at the launch.
Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said during these tough times, education must not stop and everyone should get access to education like before.
“With this cooperation, Google has enabled access to G Suite for Education and Google Classroom programme for our state schools, students can sit at home and learn, ask questions, clarify doubts, save lectures, etc,” he said.
School Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad stressed on the power of the Internet to take education to the masses and reduce the learning gap.
“With emphasis on online resources, platforms, bandwidth, and availability of technological solutions, we aim to make Maharashtra the most progressive state on education,” she said.
Google India Vice-President and Country Head Sanjay Gupta said since the Covid-19 outbreak, over 32 crore children have been hit by school closures, making access to quality education even more critical.
“This collaboration builds upon our commitment to create useful tools that make information accessible over the internet, so that teachers and students continue to benefit from it,” he added.
Gupta said that this month, the Maharashtra government rolled out a survey asking teachers to register for the first batch of training programmes and out of the 700,000 educators across the state, Google received 150,000 sign-ups in less than 48 hours.
Google for Education solutions help teachers provide excellent educational experiences and enable students to learn better by nurturing individual needs.
Each solution has been designed to be easy to use, flexible and scalable. They are built for collaboration, secure by design, and will now be available to scores of teachers and students across Maharashtra, for free.
At the sixth Google for India event, Google announced that it will enable over 1 million teachers across 22,000 schools in India with blended learning by the end of 2020.
Earlier this year, Google collaborated with FICCI Arise to ensure teachers and students can transition to remote learning seamlessly, and trained teachers in over 250 schools across 23 states to use digital tools such as Google Meet.