The project has been undertaken by Education Media Research Centre (EMRC).
There are almost 40 courses online which have been mapped by SPPU and available on Swayam, an online platform for e-courses for different faculties and departments. As the online modules of these courses are not being made in Marathi, this approach has been adopted, taking into consideration that many students in the university come from rural areas.
Vivek Nabar, information officer at EMRC, said, “There are courses from faculties like psychology, mass media, management, forensic, food science, among others, which are popular with students. We have chosen 40 courses in the first phase and 40 per cent of work to accomplish this goal has already been started.”
While online courses are widely available and accessible, students from rural areas need some content in the regional language to understand concepts better. Under normal circumstances, when a concept is being taught in English in physical classrooms, students are free to ask questions and also discuss the same in a language they are more comfortable with for better understanding. Thus, to avoid creating a barrier in online classes, the same courses are being translated in Marathi.
Teachers from SPPU who are able to translate the courses in Marathi have already started doing it and the university has also invited volunteers to join the initiative who would be able to translate the content.
While Marathi is the language being focussed on as of now, there are also plans to translate courses into other languages like Tamil, Hindi, Telugu and Bengali.
Shrikant Thakur, coordinator, EMRC courses, said, “Students can also indulge in discussion while they take these courses. While the discussion is important, the same is carried in classroom. To make students understand the same concepts, these translated lectures will be helpful.”
Pratik Gudhati, a student of Economics from Indapur, said, “In classrooms, we usually request our faculties to discuss in Marathi for better understanding. Once the concept is understood, then it becomes easier for us to write in English. Even when regular lectures happened, there are a few remedial lectures which are taught in Marathi for most students who completed their graduation in Marathi. Similarly, if the same is given on online platforms, then it will help us who come from rural backgrounds.”