The National Association of Teachers opposes the UGC’s announcement on blended learning

The All India Federation of University and College Teachers’ Organization (AIFUCTO) has expressed its opposition to the University Grants Commission’s (UGC’s) new announcement permitting universities to use a blended method of teaching and learning

Teacher organisations in Kerala have spoken out against the UGC’s decision to enable higher education institutions to teach up to 40% of each course online and the remaining 60% offline in a blended learning model. On or before June 6, the commission had requested stakeholders to provide input on a concept note developed by an expert committee on blended learning. In addition to the 40% course that colleges are allowed to give through Study Webs of Active-Learning for Young Aspiring Minds, the new provision of offering a mixed form of learning will be available (SWAYAM).

“UGC’s document on blended mode of teaching and learning is not a pandemic-induced contingency solution, but a package in connection with the implementation of National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, which assigns blended learning an important role, claiming that it will provide more flexibility and choice to learners for developing 21st century skills,” Rajan Gurukkal P.M, vice-chair of the UGC, explained. AIFUCTO has requested that the commission retract the concept note and engage in a “democratic conversation” with education stakeholders in order to develop an agreement on the topic of teaching-learning in higher education institutions (HEIs).

If the concept note is adopted, the entire education system will be at the mercy of market pressures, according to the teachers’ union. “At a time when the bulk of Indian students are battling for decent internet connections and a huge number of educational institutions and universities lack enough finance, the document is created as if all 40,000 colleges are elite schools,” it continued. On May 20, the UGC released a concept note on implementing a blended style of teaching and learning in higher education institutions.

The teachers’ union says that if the concept note is adopted, the entire educational system will be subject to commercial forces. “At a time when the majority of Indian students are struggling to get adequate internet connections, and a large number of educational institutions and universities are short on funds, the document is written as if all 40,000 colleges are elite schools,” the document added.

The term “Blended Learning” was coined to describe the practise of integrating digital learning resources with more traditional classroom face-to-face instruction, according to a concept note provided by UGC. This chapter discusses educational reforms and prerequisites for Blended Learning. Rather than a simple mix of online and face-to-face forms, blended learning refers to a well-planned mixing of appropriate activities in both modes. The blend necessitates the consideration of various factors, the most significant of which are learning outcomes and an educational environment that is learner-centred.

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