Swayam, the government's online education portal, has seen a significant jump in the number of enrollments in the last two years owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. The portal saw over one crore enrolments as educational institutes resorted to virtual learning due to the pandemic and lockdowns.
'Swayam' is a platform of India's higher education and offers an opportunity to students to earn academic credit earmarked as credit-eligible for institutions' certificates. Being the world's biggest Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) platform, it offers over 700 courses from more than 135 Indian institutions.
Every person can access these courses, with the portal hosting classes from the ninth standard till post-graduation. The study material is being prepared by experienced professors from reputed institutes and is available in various regional languages.
Reportedly, more than 1.6 lakh students registered themselves in July 2020 for four courses including Machine Learning, Programming, Data Science, Data Structures and Algorithms. The enrolment was more than 40,000 during the semester. Madras IIT, Chennai Mathematical Institute and IIT-Kharagpur offered these courses.
"It's a convenient program for students as well as non-students. Tasks are assigned on a weekly basis with deadlines," one of the students enrolled in Swayam told The Logical Indian.
"After completion, exams are conducted with minimal charges and later certificates are given which can be used for future references such as jobs or higher studies," the student added.
Access, Equality And Quality
As per reports, enrolment is expected to rise with the approval of credit transfers up to 40 per cent from online courses towards one's degree completion. By 2021, about 150 universities will accept credits received on Swayam. The universities included 26 central and 48 state universities respectively.
The platform hosts over 2,000 interactive courses taught in Indian schools and colleges from 9th grade to post-graduation, with an online content of 80,000 hours to be used by 30 million learners for free anytime and anywhere. The initiative was designed keeping in view the three fundamental principles – access, equality and quality of education – to bridge the gap between the privileged and the less-privileged.
Students can have access to the portal free of cost. However, those participants wanting to get a Swayam certificate need to register for the final exams. The academic test comes with a fee and attends in-person at designated centres on given dates. The Swayam certificates offer students in India to earn academic credit virtually.