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School Education INDIA 2010 Report

ICT in School Education and Policy Matters

yukti pahwa

eINDIA 2010 hosted the School Education INDIA 2010, where eminent dignitaries witnessed deliberation on Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan, strategising and implementation of policies on usage of ICT, challenges in developing eLearning and role of ICT in advancing inclusive education. The track also included discussion rounds on different education models, pedagogy and andragogy in ICT mediated classrooms, as a part of Principals’ Conclave.

Session I Role of Technology in Rashitraiya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) Programme: Challenges and Opportunities. The aim of the session was to carry out deliberations focusing on the provisions and hindrance in implementation of the said initiative and role of ICT in its facilitation. The Panelists for Session I consisted of

Chair: • Dr D Samba Siva Rao, Secretary, School Education, Government of Andhra Pradesh· Co-Chair: • Shri Subhash C Khuntia, Joint Secretary, Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India; • Dr SS Jena, Chairman, National Institute of Open Schooling, Government of India; • Dr Subir Roy, Technical Adviser, School education Department, Government of West Bengal; • Amit Gupta, CEO, S Chand Hartcourt (India) Pvt Ltd.

Highlights from the Session Dr D Samba Siva began the session with a welcome address, with a note on the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. Then he elaborated upon the RMSA initiative of the government, for secondary and senior secondary education/ high school. He elaborated that in about 7000 schools ICT


(L-R) Dr SS Jena, Dr D Samba Siva Rao, Shri SC Khuntia, Dr Subir Roy and Amit Gupta

In about 7000 schools ICT implementation has been done, out of the 18000 high schools in the Andhra Pradesh. Teachers are given training for updating them with the ICT element.

implementation has been done, out of the 18000 high schools in the state. Teachers are given training for updating them with the ICT element. He finished by insisting upon improving the quality of service

provided, so that RMSA can be worked upon with the best. Dr SS Jena gave a presentation on ICT in open schooling in context of RMSA. Open schooling is seeing a paradigm

There is an effort to equip high school children to cope with the future and it is a must to leverage ICT for teaching-learning.

shift from one time schooling to life long education, fixed to flexible timing, instructional based learning to learner based instruction, and so on. He spoke about the challenges in the field, course delivery system, augmentation of learning resources, PPP and ICT based resource support for open schooling. Dr Subir Roy talked about ICT implementation at schools and use of computers only, for ICT literacy. He told about RMSA in West Bengal with 10,000 secondary schools , grant of INR 5 lac per school, challenges being faced, and concluded by talking about effective elearning systems (to comprise of interactivity and simulation). Amit Gupta then spoke about large Indian market space, requirement of a policy to let the private players interact at large with the education system. RMSA needs to bring not a few but all schools together under the benefit umbrella. He concluded by requesting government representative Shri SC Khuntia, to consider giving an “actual shape to PPP models” allowing more private participation and benefit to maximum number of schools. Shri SC Khuntia then addressed the gathering, beginning by speaking about

RMSA, as a logical extension to SSA. Universalisation of education through secondary education is a highlighting factor for RMSA. He emphasised on need to increase access, equity and quality – the three pillars for RMSA. He spoke about new ways of learning, that are ICT enabled and initiatives being taken by government for the same. For instance, in KVS and NVS are mostly ICT enabled now, under the ICT enabled school scheme. There is an effort to equip high school children to cope with future and it is a must to make teaching-learning can be enhanced using ICT as leverage. He spoke about capacity building of teachers and importance of PPP as being envisaged under RMSA. Government has been recently working on Draft National Curriculum for Teachers and there ICT is being included in every pre-training course and also the in-service training programmes. He also described about providing online libraries, e-comprehensive evaluation and assessment, easy monitoring for the parents regarding the school progress of children and scholarships for the children with use of ICT. Near the end of his address, he explained that besides scholastic activities many other educational activities, along

(L-R) C Neelap, Seetha Kiran, Prof BP Khandelwal, K Sadagopan and Terry Wason

Shri S C Khuntia

with curriculum reforms and classroom transactions will also be facilitated by ICT, under umbrella of RMSA. Session II Moving Towards Digitally Equipped Schools: Priorities and Challenges The aim of the session was to have secretaries and principals of schools to discuss the ways to deliberate on how interactive classroom teaching learning modules can be developed and implemented. The Panelists included –

Chair: • K Sadagopan, Deputy Commissioner, Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti (NVS)· Co-Chair: • Prof BP Khandelwal, Former Chairman, Central Board of Secondary Education; • Seetha Kiran, Principal and Regional Director, DAV Institutions, South Zone; • C Neelap, Education Officer, Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan, Regional Office, Hyderabad· Terry Wason, Country Manager India, SMART Technologies.

In the beginning of the session, Seetha Kiran gave a presentation on digital schools or the smart schools. She appreciated CBSE for bringing in CCE into curriculum. She insisted that 21st Century demands that students have to be “innovative thinkers and then we have to make them learn, helping them to construct knowledge” and it is a must for teachers to have ICT in classrooms. And

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dissemination of knowledge in schools. The panel consisted of –

(L-R) Dr R Shreedher, Kadu Baddanage Buddhika Sampat Darshana, Kalinga Athulathmudali, Ahmadzulkarnin Ramli, Zeena Abdul Gafoor, Prof Vasudha Kamat, Vandana Arimardan, Khor Kok Yeow

we can not afford to say that we do not have ICT enabled schools. Terry Wason, next spoke highlighting the role of in-service professional development and to strengthen teachers skills. He also explained that social networking sites should be considered as learning sites such as teacher tube, a part of YouTube based site, where teachers share their learnings. C Neelap put forth two questions – whether you should create technology or perpetually be acceptable of people who create technology for school. He described that it is important to include ICT in teaching so that we can compete with global standards. He insisted that the preachers must provide guaranteed quality knowledge and smiling learning which makes every student effective user of technology. K Sadagopan mentioned that eLearning is better known as “extended or revolving or everywhere learning.” He explained that future will be better than. The traditional methods are being challenged today and ICT implementation, especially in past ten years, has proved its worth with increased graduation rate, more meaning connection between staff and students and stronger relationships of academic institutions with business. He told that quality content

acquired for effective teaching-learning and finally said, “we need to bring learning to people instead of people to learn.” Prof BP Khandelwal, to begin with, spoke about life long learning. Technology has arrived, has made learning more vibrant and things are being turned into more interactive and attractive in classroom. He made an important point that teachers and their value must never be negated. He mentioned about importance of values that lie in education and International Commission Report for Education adopted by all UNESCO member countries where emphasis is on ‘learning the treasure within’. He put forth that with technology there should be implementation and supplementation, especially with respect to capacity building. Session III Digital Storytelling: ICT mediated Learning and Practices (Special session sponsored by Commonwealth of Educational Media Centre for Asia) The aim of the session was to share stories related to using radio media for

CIET has two audio studios and two video studio from where daily networking, conferencing and interactive programmes are broadcasted.


Chair: • Dr R Shreedher, Director, Commonwealth of Educational Media Centre for Asia; Moderator: • Prof Vasudha Kamat, Joint Director, CIET, National Council for Education, Research and Training (NCERT); • Vandana Arimardan, CIET, NCERT; • Khor Kok Yeow, Wawason Open University, Penang, Malaysia; • Ahmadzulkarnin Ramli, Open University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; • Kalinga Athulathmudali, Tech Lanka, Colombo, Sri Lanka; • Kadu Baddanage Buddhika Sampat Darshana, Tel Radio, Colombo, Sri Lanka; • Zeena Abdul Gafoor, Repulic of Maldives.

Highlights R Shreedher introduced some international delegates to speak on the digital stories for enhancement in school education. Prof Vasudha Kamat moderated the session. Vandana Arimardan talked about work of CIET, where they have two audio studios and two video studio from where daily networking, conferencing and interactive programmes are broadcasted. She described that they broadcast programmes from Gyan Vani and Gyan Darshan. They have 12 channels and thousands of audio clips of historical importance. Then she elaborated about the launch of ‘I-Radio’, which is a form of web-casting. For the broadcast towers are required while I-Radio operates with help of a cost effective set up and from there send signals from internet (use of MTNL Broadband), globally. They work for the education of children with effective use of technology. Prof Kamat added to above that they also convert text books into to digital books that are available to visually challenged students. Khor Kok Yeow talked about ‘Life Size’ webcast method at WOU. He explained about the biggest challenge in usual webcast is the cost, which is very expensive. He talked about challenges available at WOU – the bandwidth, audio and video and Internet – for implementation of I-Radio in Malaysia. Finally, about the I-Radio implementation he told, “It was a big success when received positive feedback and comment from different RO and public internet users, knowing that the audio/video is clear and without lag.”

(L-R) Peter Cahill (presenting), Simmi Kher, Pameila Khanna, James Shanely, Vineet Koka and Praveen K Pavuluri

Ahmadzulkarnin Ramli presented a case study – ‘Digital Story Telling (DST): The Case of Open University Malaysia (OUM). At OUM, DST has been seen as a facilitator of learning both by itself and in combination with other instructional elements. He concluded by saying, “In order to stimulate DST development for education purposes at acceptable cost and timeline; investing to have an in-house Learning Materials Development Centre (CiDT) is the right decision for OUM.” Buddhika gave a presentation on ‘Telradio’, a form of internet radio service. He briefly explained the meaning of digital story telling as an “art of telling stories with a variety of digital multimedia and DST workshops that have been conducted in Sri Lanka. He spoke about applications of the same in the area of health care, education, disaster management and community. The challenges faced by his institution mainly comprised of script writing, content dissemination and low number of DST produced after the workshops. Kalinga Athulathmudali spoke about how I-Radio helps in breaking geographical boundaries in elearning. He explained the concept of ‘Tech Katha’, and explained that how iRadio is a highly interactive, on demand way of breaking language barriers, sharing knowledge and building communities with self-support. Zeena Abdul Gafoor gave a presentation on I-Radio in Maldives. They started this programme in Maldives about six months ago. She described the workshops hosted through I-radio with parents, teachers and students, to disseminate knowledge to all. To sustain and maintain I-Radio there is an Education Development Centre, where

there is a station and a studio; and with help of professional experts broadcasting of relevant programmes is done but a major challenge is presence of only a few producers. Session IV Role of eLearning to Enhance Subject Knowledge of Students The aim of the session was to explore how multi-media instruments can help in encouraging children to learn in productive way, through deliberations amongst the implementers of learning. The panelists included-

Highlights Pameila Khanna began by giving an introduction of the topic and elaborating on the use of ICT in enhancing subject knowledge of students. Simmi Kher introduced Tony Blair Faith Foundation that connects schools across globe with video conferencing. She then gave presentation on Web2.0. She spoke from perspective of being teacher and how motivation can help teachers to use ICT effectively for classroom teaching. She gave a few other connotations of ICT – information connecting technology, information collaboration technology, and information cultural change technology. Then Vineet Koka spoke about the how elearning can help students efficiently grasp knowledge. For them he demonstrated example of how a lesson can be planned with help of technology, which is easy to be memorised and understood by students, on blood clotting. He explained how technology they provide can produce uniformity in teaching, cover absence of a teacher, help students in practicing on their own, is simple to use and requires minimum hardware. James Shanely spoke about use of interactive whiteboards. He introduced

Chair: • Pameila Khanna, Principal, CHIREC Public School; • Simmi Kher, India Coordinator, Tony Blair Foundation; • Vineet koka, Vice President, Marketing & Ops, Designmate (I) Pvt Ltd· J a m e s Shanely, Director Sales, Mimio; • Peter Cahill, Education Media and Publishing Group International (an affiliate of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), VP Business Development and Strategy, Ireland; • Praveen K Pavuluri, Vice President, Prapan Solutions Pvt Ltd. Peter Cahill

iRadio is a highly interactive, on demand way of breaking language barriers, sharing knowledge and building communities with self-support.

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(L-R) Shri K Anwar Sadath, S Selvaraj, Amit Khanna, Satish Jha, Ranjit Singh and John Reder

Mimio’s new suite of interactive whiteboards. He laid emphasis on delivering quality and effectiveness through content loaded within the interactive white boards. Praveen K Pavuluri talked about integrating technology in primary education. He spoke about the addon technology education services, his company provides to schools and state governments, especially after school, to disadvantaged children. He talked about empowering schools with technology and using multimedia for helping students and teachers to build their respective capacities. Peter Cahill, talked about how before use for teachers it’s a must to understand any elearning technology which has to be used. The motive of his company is to empower teachers to create better learners. He spoke about quality of teacher in classroom, appreciating different activities that teachers indulge in schools, understand the needs of teachers, understand student needs and considering increasing level of engagements of students. After each session, there was a question-answer round, after which all the speakers were thanked with a token of appreciation. Session V Strategising and Implementation of Policies on Usage of ICT in Leveraging Learning The aim of the session was to invite stakeholders from government to discuss effective use of ICT tools in School Education.


The Panelists included -

Chair: • K Anwar Sadath, Director, IT@ Schools Project, General Education Department, Government of Kerela; • Dr Sushmita Mitra, Director, SSS, NIOSS Selvaraj, Assistant Commissioner, KVS, Andhra PradeshAmit Khanna, Business Development Director, N Computing; • Satish Jha, CEO, One Laptop Per Child (OLPC); • Ranjit Singh, CEO, Genee Solutions India Pvt Ltd; • John Reder, Education Market Development Manager, DLP Products, Texas Instruments. The session began with address by K Anwar Sadath. He spoke about the ICT implementation in school

education in Kerela. He highlighted points on policy framework, infrastructure readiness (equipped computer labs with broadband), capacity building (extensive teacher training programmes) and content development and management (inlcuding multi-faceted approach in schools including tools such as - Print, TV, Satellite & Web Media). Dr Sushmita Mitra talked about how ICT has changed learning into a 24/7 process. She elaborated that technologies available today and traditional pedagogy are bound to have some tensions as they are different in terms of activities done, type of learning (collaborative vs instructional), creativity, integration of theory and practice, and evaluation. She concluded by saying, “Strategy plan ought to stress on complete integration with existing structures, processes and critical issues for a change for future.” S Selvaraj presented a comparison of education at Kendriya Vidhyalayas before the advent of ICT and in present situation. He described the ICT facilities available at schools and how teachers use the same effectively to teach the class. He later discussed the research papers and articles available on ICT use in schools. Ranjit Singh to begin with gave introduction on his company – Genee Solutions. He later elaborated how they provide educational solutions to support teachers in making classroom learning more fruitful. He explained, with help of demonstration of the equipments they manufacture, that “Technology has so much more flexibility, impact and opportunities for student inclusion.”

(L-R) Dr Sushmita Mitra, Shri K Anwar Sadath, S Selvaraj, Amit Khanna, Satish Jha, Ranjit Singh and John Reder

(L-R) CVenkata Giri, Prof Arun C Mehta and Dr Santosh Babu

all these students is to be borne by the state government and they have been given right to attain free of cost admission in schools (be it government or private). Since, the drop out rate of the students from disadvantaged communities has also gone down. Dr Santosh Babu gave a presentation elaborating on how it is possible to provide world class educational facilities to all the people – in both urban and rural India. He talked about the three classes of poor – rich poor, middle class poor and poor poor and how percolation of resources are required to the most bottom layer of the poor. He talked about importance of state collector and how dissemination of resources can be effective if collector is careful at his end. He also talked about self help groups, child friendly village and dissemination of knowledge.

Satish Jha talked about One Laptop Per John Reder made a presentation on ‘3D Child, describing state of the present time for Education’, the digital display devices. education system for children, the barriers He elaborated on the 3D revolution, present (including infrastructure, teaching necessity to acquire good 3D, 3D pilot and content) and the most effective ways programmes and results of the same. The ICT has changed learning into a 24/7 process. in which the challenges can be met using devices developed by Texas Instruments Technologies available today and traditional transformational OLPC. are supportive in manner of high value pedagogy bound to have some content theyare provide, he added. Session VI Round Table Discussion: School Leaders Conclave Right to Education and Role of ICT The objective of the session was to gather recommendations from experts and principals regarding the role of ICT in execution of RTE act. The panelists consisted of -

Principal D Usha Reddy putting forth her opinion after the discussion on her table during Session VI

Chair: • Dr Mohd Ilyas Rizvi, IFS, Chairman and Managing Director, Andhra Pradesh State, Minorities Finance Corporation; • Prof Arun C Mehta, Head Department of Educational Management Information System (EMIS), NEUPA; • C Venkata Giri, Teacher, Kendriya Vidhayalaya Sanghathan; • Dr Santosh Babu, Managing Director, Elcot.

Amit Khanna gave a presentation on ‘proven strategy to reduce ICT acquisition and maintenance cost in education’. He then described about the way in which N Computing devices help in creating affordable, multiple, operational desktops with help of only a few master computers. Additionally, this helps in saving electricity, reduced e-waste and hardware waste, and bringing computing to 1.8 million students in India.

Highlights Dr Mohd Ilyas Rizvi talked about Andhra Pradesh government initiatives. He mentioned that the government, even before the RTE act came to be implemented, had takena call to provide free education to all students from SC/ST/ OBC and minority groups, from class two to the higher education courses (including the professional courses). The fees of

Chair for Session VI: Dr Mohd Ilyas Rizvi addressing the gathering

Arun C Mehta mostly discussed the features of the RTE act. He explained that ICT provisions are to be given to schools. But ICT details and way of implementation is not available to all, yet. He also mentioned about the provision to have a redressal mechanism/ monitoring mechanism but it will take time to develop it. Again it is the responsibility of state govt to develop child helpline/ online feedbakc mechanism where children and parents are enabled to register any violation of the RTE act with government, so that action can be taken by government. Finally, he spoke about importance of having professional/ qualified teachers in schools.

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C Venkata Giri talked about his teaching experience at school, in sector of ICT, for over 15 years. He emphasised that unless a teacher is there to teach, the ICT tools or any tools are of no use. He insisted upon supporting teachers to gain the relevant skills to make classroom teaching relevant. For a better future of education, teachers should be prepared to use ICT. Following the above presentations was a round table discussion between principals across various tables. The discussions consisted of points such as government’s role in providing 100% free education to all students, requirement of funds for facilitating education of 25% of the seats that are to be reserved in private schools, and so on. Session VII Breaking Barrier towards Access and Success: Technology as Enabler in Inclusive Education The aim of the session was to invite the educationists to discuss how technology can support seamless education across various disparities. The panelists included Chair: • Usha D Reddy, Principal Meridian School • Md Afzal Hossain Sarwar, Content Development Associate, Access to Information Project, PMO, Bangladesh; • Hariharun M, CEO, Hicommands Tech India Ltd; • Krishna Khanna, Chairman, i2K; • S Venkatesh, Tech Architect, Edurite.

Highlights Usha D Reddy began the session by introducing the title and deliberating on the same. She spoke about the importance of using technology in a balanced manner – neither over doing it or underplaying its role. She described that it is essential for teachers to be familiar with the technology and use the resources that are available with them. Cooperation from private sector is of equal importance. She finally spoke about importance censorship of digital content and bridging the gap between the economically diverse groups. Md. Afzal Hossain Sarwar, spoke about ICT implementation with respect to teacher training, classroom teachinglearning, supplementary materials, and self-learning materials. He talked about different kinds of digital content and reflected on the ‘Bottom-up’ approach


(L-R) S Venkatesh, Hariharun M, Md Afzal Hossain Sarwar, Dr Usha D Reddy and Krishan Khanna

Itisessentialforteacherstobefamiliarwiththetechnologyand use the resources that are available with them.

in teaching, in Bangladesh. He further elaborated upon empowerment of teachers, use of multimedia and need of active leadership for combining the efforts of technologies and human efforts; along with Business Process Re-engineering. S Venkatesh talked about Manipal Education and TutorVista. He talked about the credentials of the same, elaborating the methodology (containing canned teaching, mapping the learning process, using semantic technology and assessing

Md Afzal Hossain Sarwar

the impact). He described a view of next generation classrooms, that would be solar powered, 3G connectivity, and projection technologies. Krishan Khanna began by describing thirty one demos of technology platform that i2K provides. He talked about the future education which will see artificial intelligence, 24/7 learning, one to one mentoring, change from teacher centric system to student centric learning system. He told that every human being has a different style of learning- so teachers will have to learn to work with diverse personalities. He finally spoke about the interactive, one to one mentoring, artificial intelligence platform they provide supports 11 Indian languages and is low cost . Hariharun M spoke about the platform Hicommands company provides in education sector. He explained how ICT implementation is usually confined to use of computers and projectors in the classrooms. He explained that his company specialises in emerging pedagogy and they train teachers to be comfortable with use of technology. They support interactive reinforcement, help teachers customise course to suit students and be part of learning process. With this the two day track on school education came to its closure. \\

digitalLEARNING-Sep-2010-[18-25]-ICT in School Education and Policy Matter  

SeSSion i Role of Technology in RashiTRaiya MadhyaMik shiksha abhiyan (RMsa) PRogRaMMe: challenges and oPPoRTuniTies. The aim of the session...