Television and Education Essay

UGC’s use of Television for Education For over two decades University Grants Commission (UGC) of India has been using television for higher education. In 1984 UGC launched “UGC Countrywide Classroom” on Doordarshan –the National Network of Television in India. Specially designed educational television programs, either imported or locally produced, were telecast for the benefit of undergraduate and post graduate students across the country.

The need for using television for higher education was necessitated due to enormous growth in student population in higher education and increase in number of higher educational institutions in the country but there was not enough matching growth in terms of proper infrastructure and quality manpower. Under the circumstances it was thought that television may be able to remove some of the disparities and make quality education available to the students irrespective of their location.

We will write a custom essay sample on
Television and Education Essay
or any similar topic only for you
Order now

A special cell, UGC INSAT Television Project, which later became Consortium for Educational Communication (CEC) in 1993, was established to coordinate the production and transmission of educational television programs. For production of programs 17 Media Centers, equipped with latest production gadgets and quality manpower were also established in various Universities across the country. These centers produce educational television programs, involving university teachers and academics as subject experts and script writers.

Both enrichment as well as syllabus oriented programs, produced by the media centers, are telecast on Doordarshan in UGC Countrywide Classroom (CWCR). Initially the programs were telecast for one hour during the day, with repeat telecast in the afternoon. But owing to growing commercialization the Doordarshan has reduced the CWCR time slot to half an hour and pushed the CWCR to early morning slot of 05:30am -06:00am. To enable students and teachers watch ETV programs in the colleges, UGC provided color television sets to over 7000 colleges in the country. Sadly most of these sets remained non-functional due to one or the other reason.

For better co-ordination among the media centers and to take the educational television to newer and more meaningful heights with cooperative planning, involving universities and academics, the UGC in 1993 constituted an interuniversity “Consortium for Educational Communication” (CEC). The consortium is the apex body for management of production and dissemination of ETV programs. It also maintains a video tape library of the programs produced by the media centers, by now the number of these programs has crossed 15,000, with around 1000 fresh programs added every year.

The library is now on path to full digitalization. The complete digitalization of video programs is aimed at creation of a virtual video library for retrieval by students through internet. Owing to various reasons the viewership of CWCR did not show much increase it marginally grew from 21. 29 million in 1993 to 22 million in 1997. At the peak of its popularity the CWCR on Doordarshan enjoyed a viewership of 20 million people. The in house research conducted by CEC and some independent researchers show that the UGC Countrywide Classroom programs remain underutilized for a variety of reasons.

In 2004 the University Grants Commission (UGC) launched a 24 hour satellite television Channel called VYAS –the higher educational channel of UGC. Again the research suggests that the channel remains underutilized as it is not being carried by the cable operators nor is it yet available on DTH. The launch of EDUSAT –a dedicated satellite for education, facilitated creation of 64 Satellites Interactive Terminals in the country. Popularly known as Virtual Classrooms, these terminals enable students, scholars and teachers across the country share their knowledge and experience.

Each day lectures on selected topics, involving reputed experts, are delivered through EDUSAT. Each lectures is followed by a live interaction, through two way audio/video, among the participants across the country. UGC has successfully used the virtual classrooms for conduct of workshops, training programs and online courses. In addition to the VYAS and the Virtual Classrooms CEC has taken up many serious initiatives to engage academics, media professionals and multimedia experts in packaging of knowledge in various forms.

These initiatives include: Development of e-Content, Multimedia, Training of teachers in e-content development, Development of Learning Object Repository (LOR), Conduct of On-Line Courses using VYAS, EDUSAT and Internet, Production of syllabus oriented ETV Programs for undergraduate students and developing International linkages for sharing of knowledge at global level. From Countrywide Classroom to Virtual Classroom and packaging of knowledge, UGC has come a long way, but the scheme is yet to achieve its potential and make its presence felt in an effective manner.

Today when television penetration is very high, the technology is spreading across the rural areas, satellites and transponders are manufactured like cars, the skyline in every part of the globe is dotted with transmission towers of all kinds, there is a greater scope of using television and the new technology for education at global level. This paper therefore tries to analyze the UGC’s experience of using television and new communication technology for higher education


Hi there, would you like to get such a paper? How about receiving a customized one? Check it out