Projector replaces blackboard in Kerala classroom

February 23rd, 2008 - 5:36 pm ICT by admin  

By Jeevan Mathew Kurian
Kozhikode, Feb 23 (IANS) Nearly 30 students of a girl’s school in Kerala listened in rapt attention to the teacher. The only difference - the teacher was speaking from nearly 200 km away and the girls were being taught online with a projector beaming the image live. In some government schools in north Kerala’s Kozhikode district a projector is replacing the blackboard. The district administration has launched a new initiative of online tutoring to help students of government schools who often lag behind.

“People here are tutoring children in the US and Canada. Then why can’t we do the same in our state when we have all the infrastructure?” asks Kozhikode district collector A. Jayathilak, whose brainchild the programme is.

This is perhaps for the first time that a district administration in India has arranged such a facility to help students from poor families, though the Indian Space Research Organisation has been carrying out pilot projects in distance learning for many years.

“The infrastructure one needs is a projector, a computer with a web camera and a broadband Internet connection. This initiative may be the first of its kind in the country,” Jayathilak told IANS.

Learners Scholars, a Kochi-based firm, is providing teachers for the tutoring free of cost.

“This is a good example of public-private participation. The company is providing tutoring services to its clients abroad. The service can be made available to any number of schools simultaneously, if they have the minimum infrastructure,” the collector added.

The online tutoring initiative began Wednesday.

“Our school set up the smart classroom facility utilising money from local area development fund of MLA (Member of Legislative Assembly). Children are actively taking part in the online tutoring,” says C.T. Elsamma, the headmistress of the Nadakkavu Girls School.

“I found it very interesting. We can ask any questions and the classes are really good,” said Farseena Latheef, 10th standard student of the school.

“This online tutoring is for students who are weak in studies and have the lowest grades. After a mock examination, special online tutoring in all subjects will be arranged till the final examinations,” according to Jayathilak, adding that the venture could be replicated in other areas too.

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