Union minister Pokhriyal, UNESCO director discuss NEP, India’s response to COVID pandemic

New Delhi, Mar 25 (PTI) Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ and UNESCO Director General Audrey Azoulay on Thursday discussed broad areas of mutual importance, including the new NEP and India’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the education sector.

In the virtual meeting, Azoulay appreciated the response of the Indian government in mitigating the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuring continuity of education during the COVID-19 pandemic by providing education to students through different mediums of television, radio, online.

“India’s response to COVID was remarkable in terms of scale and diversity. I request the minister to share the experiences and best practices relating to the education sector of India with member states of the UNESCO.

“The new National Education Policy (NEP) is visionary and capable of transforming the education sector. The important concepts under the NEP like strengthening administrative capacities, socio-emotional learning, environmental awareness are very crucial for the development of students. On behalf of the UNSECO, I extend full support in implementation of the NEP,” she said.

The minister mentioned that competitive entrance exams for almost 2.3 million students, the largest entrance examinations in the world, were conducted successfully and safely during the pandemic.

Highlighting the crucial role played by Indian educational institutions during the trying times of the pandemic, Pokhriyal said these institutions transformed the challenges posed by COVID into opportunities.

“They came up with innovations like the low-cost portable ventilators, affordable and AI-powered COVID-19 test kits, affordable and effective personal protective equipment kits and masks. These innovations proved instrumental in providing healthcare facilities to not only India but also to over 62 countries. The two vaccines by India has not only helped the country in fighting COVID but also the entire world,” he said.