Odisha Minister Expresses Concern Over Exclusion Of Odia Language From ‘Swayam’

Bhubaneswar: Minister of Electronics, Information and Technology, Tusharkanti Behera, has expressed concern over the omission of the Odia language from the Swayam online education portal under the Union Ministry of Education. The fact will be brought to the knowledge of the Union Ministry of Education. “Under no circumstances the future of Odia students will be compromised,” Behera said.

Now children are relying heavily on online education during the Covid-19 pandemic. The state government is focusing on strengthening the network system in many interior areas of Odisha like Malkangiri district.

The SWAYAM online education portal itself is a good system. The study material on science, Engineering and Technology, Pharmacy, Humanities and Social Sciences, Law and Management are being prepared by experienced professors from IITs, Central Universities and IISs and would be available in major regional languages. The Union Ministry of Education had announced the availability of study material on line portal in total of 10 languages; including Odia to ensure that language will not be a barrier for learning.

“This was definitely a welcome move by the Central Government. Now it is ascertained that during the translation of study material by the AICTE, the Odia language has been dropped when it was already announced. Odia language is having rich history and has been recognized as classical language by the Central Government. In terms of IT, Odisha is now one of the leading states in the country. Odias have proven their position in the country and abroad in various fields. Decision of Ministry of Education (MoE) on the recommendation of AICTE to drop the Odia language courses from Massive Open online courses scheme, is unfortunate and unjust.”

Centre’s move has deprived lakhs of Odia students to learn from SWAYAM online platform. As this open online source of Government provides courses from UG to PG, technical, law and pharmacy education free of costs with valid certification, it could have great help to odia students, researchers and faculties. Rural area of Odisha is now connected online and this pandemic has thought us that online study is the future, he added.

“With the vision of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik we have extended connectivity to remotest area of the state and students are able to get online classes conducted by schools and colleges. This platform would help students of rural area to access higher education in Odia language from

SWAYAM portal, but in vein. Odia language should be in the scheme as expressed by Union Education Minister to include 10 major languages in this learning platform. Behera has expressed his displeasure and appeal for the reconsideration of the decision of MoE to include the Odia as language for the educational platform SWAYAM for the greater interest of the Odia students.