“DIKSHA Platform” -Visually challenged struggle with e-textbooks

What is the News? As per a study by Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy, Visually impaired students can’t access more than half of NCERT material on DIKSHA platform.

About the study:
  • The study conducted a systematic review of the Digital Infrastructure for Knowledge Sharing(DIKSHA) portal. The platform is a national platform for school education.
  • Purpose: It analyzed how much the DIKSHA portal is Accessible for Students with Visual Disabilities.

What are the key findings? The assessment of inaccessibility was conducted on two fronts:

Inaccessibility of the DIKSHA platform:
  • The DIKSHA web platform has a variety of accessibility issues. That makes it difficult for visual disabilities persons to independently navigate it to search and access the content they are looking for.
Inaccessibility of the resources on the DIKSHA platform:
  • NCERTs: All chapters sampled from NCERT e-textbooks uploaded in an appropriate e-text format. However, only 36.4% were completely accessible and 54.5% had inaccessible elements and 9.1% were completely inaccessible.
  • SCERTs:
    • Of the 21 SCERT chapters sampled for Tamil Nadu, 90.5% were totally inaccessible. Only one of the sampled chapters was totally accessible using a screen reader.
    • Out of the 22 SCERTs chapters sampled for Telangana, none were totally inaccessible. However, 95.5% were partially inaccessible, and only one chapter was totally accessible.
  • Subject wise Inaccessibility: Mathematics chapters had the highest number of inaccessible learning activities at 80%. Following that are English, Science, and Geography chapters.
About DIKSHA Platform:
  • DIKSHA (Digital Infrastructure for Knowledge Sharing) is a national platform for teachers to excel in school education.
  • Launched by: It is an initiative of the National Council for Education Research and Training (NCERT), Ministry of Education.
  • Purpose: The DIKSHA platform offers engaging learning material, relevant to the prescribed school curriculum, to teachers, students, and parents.
  • Significance: DIKSHA made it possible amid Corona Pandemic, for all states and Union Territories, to enable learning and education at home through innovative state programs.

Source: The Hindu


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