Fact check: The Delhi government launched India’s first virtual school in August 2022.

The virtual school in Delhi is not the first of its kind in India. NIOS had already launched the country’s first virtual school in August 2021.

The context

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal inaugurated Delhi Model Virtual School on August 31, 2022 and announced that he was launching India’s first virtual school. On September 1, Twitter user @AAP_KA_HARYANA posted a video clip of Kejriwal sharing details on how the virtual education system works. The tweet contains a caption in Hindi which translates to “Today a great revolution begins in the field of education. The country’s first virtual school has started in Delhi – CM @Arvind Kejriwal’, with the Hindi video text repeating the caption. The Twitter post garnered over 180 views and 35 likes.

In reality

On April 9, 2020, India Today reported that schools and colleges were forced to close during the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown in India. During this period, center and state governments moved to online courses, allowing students to continue their education.

On August 31, 2022, the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) tweeted that some media claimed that the first virtual school was launched on that day in India. The tweet included a press note stating that NIOS had already created the country’s first virtual school in August 2021. On September 1, 2022, NIOS President Saroj Sharma contradicted CM Kejriwal’s claim and said that the Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan launched the first virtual school in August. 14, 2021.

The Hindu reported on August 31 that more than 7,000 NIOS-affiliated study centers are currently providing tutoring. He added that more than 1,500 study centers offer support in competency-based professional courses to learners of the NIOS Virtual Open School. NIOS said its Accredited Study Centers hold live interactive classes. Also, Uttarakhand launched virtual classrooms in the state in 2019. On September 1, Financial Express reported that NIOS said, “At the first-ever session of NIOS Virtual Open School during the academic year 2021, 2.18 lakh assignments/TMAs have been uploaded by learners under the framework of virtual open school.

The Delhi Model Virtual School (DMVS) was launched by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for free for grades IX to XII, while the NIOS Virtual Open School has a fee structure.

The verdict

Under the Indian Ministry of Education, NIOS launched a virtual school in August 2021, before the government of Kejriwal opened one in 2022. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.

Perry A. Thomasson