Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Best Use of Technology

Vedanta E-Shiksha @ Schools Program

While one considers the great strides taken by India in popularization and streamlining of education in the Country, the gap between knowledge levels of the urban and rural students is still large enough. All said and done the rural students across India have to still battle with non–availability of the minimum facilities for education. The quality of education is not even standalone not to say about the levels of the highly priced private education in the Country.

Although there is growth in all sectors in India, the most benefits accrue to a small percentage of populace who stays in the urban environments. The rural environments do not even get to have the basic infrastructure and reel under poverty naturally without even being cushioned.

The Government, the biggest player in rural education, is in-charge of running and managing around 80% of all recognized schools at the elementary stage. Over the years, it has launched many programs to combat negative statistics like 40% illiteracy rate and 85% dropout rate. Education has also been made free for children between 6 to 14 years of age or up to class VIII under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009. All these have brought certain small benefits to the rural population in some of the clusters, but the major part of the country does not seem to have been covered properly.

One of the most ambitious projects of the Government launched is aptly named ‘Education for All’ that is ‘Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan’. The initiative has to be given full marks for being the largest of any such education initiatives in the World. Although a huge investment has gone in to this initiative one has to agree that the ambitious project has faltered somewhere along and has not been able to deliver any positive results leave alone the results desired.

One can understand the fallacies of an initiative of the Government due to inherent mechanism deterrent to its growth and functioning. At the same time the Government circles themselves have come up with an excellent method of combating the problems by going in to the Public Private Partnerships (PPP). The PPP has brought in miraculous positive results in sectors where it was thought that the initiatives would fail. PPP has an in-built mechanism of clearly identified partnership structures, sharing of objectives and have specified performance indicators for delivery.

One such success story worthy of the kudos is that of the PPP with Vedanta Foundation as one of the agencies.

Vedanta E-Shiksha@Schools is the flagship program of Vedanta Foundation. This is one of the largest projects undertaken under the Central Government’s Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan scheme. The acceptability and assimilation in this project is increased as the project uses award-winning e-content for learning the core subjects and provides computer education in vernacular / local languages. The multimedia elements present in the e-content are compliant with the state government syllabus. Hence they help students to understand concepts easily and retain them for a longer period of time. In addition to the digital content, computer education books are provided to each school. At the end of the year these books are handed over to the school library for any further reference by the children. Once the students gain the necessary skills to manage work on a computer they automatically become confident and ready to refer to the books in the Library. The larger objective of the program is to create self sufficient skilled individuals. The training and skills make them independent.

To impact 10,000 schools, benefiting over 1 million children with technology-led education

To improve student performance in academics and facilitate their overall personality development

To decrease the dropout rate and absenteeism

To improve motivation level and knowledge of teachers with a scalable Teacher Training Program

To implement an innovative and creative curriculum that enhances the learning process

The Public Private Partnership in this unique project envisages that the operational responsibilities of running the program further are handed over to the School authorities after a period of THREE years. As the school has been a consistent partner in the program, it has all the input necessary to implement the program further. Thus there is a smooth transition.
The continued effectiveness which is the most important factor of this whole process is organized through Teacher training and empowerment, identification of locally based suitable human resources, who will carry the program forward for newer children arriving. Thus the implementation of the project is complete and positive.

Vedanta E-Shiksha@Schools has made an indelible impact on the quality of education in some rural areas of the Country. At present 2933 Government schools across Maharashtra, Goa, Rajasthan, Karnataka, and Orissa have been receiving quality education through the ICT. The benefits have been accrued to more than 3 Lakh students across the board.

In order to assess the academic performance of the students as well as the qualitative improvement in the infrastructure of the School, a third party baseline survey is conducted in every state after the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding with that State Government.

Education as a right of every young citizen of India has been imbibed very deep in the governance of the country. The education need not be just held as a right but we must also ensure that the right type of education to every child making the future functionaries of India globally successful. A purposeful life is evolved in to a successful life through the kind of education we are providing at Vedanta E-Shiksha@Schools.

As an organization dedicated to the betterment of the downtrodden, we take pride in the fact that we are helping to steer the overburdened rural education system in the right direction by providing ample opportunities to the less privileged rural children…

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