Thursday, August 14, 2008


Use mobiles to create local encyclopaedias

Computer is not alien to school kids in the country anymore. Well, the statement does hold true, but only in case of the urban child. Major parts of India are yet see what a computer looks like. “In rural segment, and in many urban and semi-urban schools, the children do not have access to computers. Though the government has taken steps, I feel the effort is ill-planned. Often, the task has been left to private companies, who run computer classes for the children against fees,” confers Anupam Basu of IIT (Kharagpur). They charge fees, which many can’t afford. However, with initiatives by a few companies, NGOs, industry bodies and state governments, the situation has improved in certain places.

Says Manjushree Reddy of Centre for Science, Development and Media Studies, “Connectivity is the new participatory interactive communication process fostered now by putting rural communities in front seats. The use of information technology and telecommunication is bringing the classroom to home, and opening access to education for those who never entered the academies.”

Shabnam Sinha, Education Head, ILFSETS, says her institution has launched K-yan in collaboration with IIT (Mumbai). The project focuses on peer-group learning and imparts vocational skills to BPL families. It has also set up internet-enabled kiosks in one lakh villages. TCS has developed packages for adult education. “IIT Kharagpur has developed contents in Bengali for children of Grade I-IV and is trying to develop content for higher classes. The Association for Marginalised Aspirations, in collaboration with IIT (Kharagpur), is deploying such contents in rural schools, including those in tribal areas,” reveals Basu.

IT majors HP & Intel have worked on using ICT to improve literacy, access to education and health services. Then, there is the Digital Study Hall (DSH), a research project that works towards improving education for poor children in slums and rural schools. “Technical approach like DSH digitally records classes by the best grassroots teachers, transmits them on Postmanet, which is effected by DVDs sent in the postal system, collects them in a large distributed database, and distributes them on DVDs to poor rural and slum schools,” explains Reddy.
For Complete IIPM Article, Click on IIPM Article

Source :
IIPM Editorial, 2008
An IIPM and Professor Arindam Chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist) Initiative

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