The Maharashtra government announced a partnership with Google that will enable 2.3 crore students andteachers to access the technology giant's blended learning programmes that combine classroom approach with online learning. As part of the tie-up, which has come at a time when online classes have become a norm due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Google will deploy free tools like G Suite for Education, Google Classroom and Google Meet to facilitate remote learning.
Speaking at the virtual launch of the partnership, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said, "Maharashtra is the first state in the country to launch G Suite for Education and Google Classroom. I request Google to help use their technology for work from home."
The partnership will enable 2.3 crore students and teachers in the state to access blended learning programmes that combine classroom approach with online learning, including free tools like G Suite for Education, Google Classroom, Google Meet to facilitate remote learning.
Under it, the School Education Department will provide individual educators and students with their own G Suite ID to ensure every student - irrespective of their location - experiences continuity in learning. Google for Education solutions help teachers provide excellent educational experiences and enable students to learn better by nurturing individual needs.
"Each solution has been designed to be easy to use, flexible and scalable. They will now be available to scores of teachers and students across Maharashtra, for free," school education minister Varsha Gaikwad said. Speaking further, Thackeray said, in such a crisis when the world is at a standstill, how to restart education is one of the primary concerns we face today.
"We often say this proverb, "Instead of tomorrow do it today"; I feel this global crisis (COVID-19) has led us from the present into the future." Gaikwad said the government looks forward to a long- term partnership with Google in building the digital education ecosystem.
Sanjay Gupta, Country Head and Vice-President, Google India, said, Since the COVID-19 outbreak, over 32 crore children in India have been impacted by school closures, making access to quality education even more critical."