In a bid to expand the reach of private schools, the Rajasthan government is coming up with a new regulation allowing education technological (ED-Tech) companies such as Byju’s and Unacademy to run “virtual” online schools with the help of existing non-government schools.
Integration of virtual schooling will be the first of its kind policy allowing only live classes by teachers. For this, the Rajasthan government will sign MoU with Ed-Tech firms. The MoU which will be called ‘Virtual Integration Partnership (VIP)’, will be done for a minimum of four years.
Schools will have to follow the curriculum of the Board of Secondary Education Rajasthan. In case the companies want to get affiliated with the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) or any other national board, they will have to seek no objection from the board.
According to a senior education department official aware of the development, “During the Covid-19 pandemic, we saw how popular online classes were and they could be a means to provide quality education outside the schools. We are coming up with regulations to recognize non-government virtual schools from Class IX to XII in Rajasthan from the academic session 2023-24.”
With this, the registered institutions can take approval to start virtual school in addition to providing ongoing offline education. Under the scheme,“the Ed-Tech companies will have to sign an agreement with existing recognized non-government schools to use their infrastructure such as laboratories, playgrounds, classrooms and libraries etc.”
“The Ed-Tech companies will have to get affiliation from the concerned Board of Secondary Education and will have to follow the rules and curriculum of these Boards. The online link of the class will be shared with a maximum of 45 students and the class will be live only. Recorded classes will be allowed only for revision,” added the official.
Further, as per the policy, if the virtual school affiliated with the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) or any other national board, they will have to seek no objection from the board.
it will be mandatory for the concerned virtual school to obtain a no-objection certificate from the department before getting affiliation from CBSE, CISCE or CAIE.
The scheme aims to take quality education to rural parts of Rajasthan and will allow existing schools to reach more students and it will also help students of rural and remote areas to get good quality education.
As of now the concern which needs a solution is that the teachers are not trained for online classes; screen time will be a big issue as was observed during corona. The holistic activists which the schools conduct will not be available online, which will affect the overall development of the student.