A set of 50 CDs brought out by SIET will enable children to learn about the life and work of various eminent people.

Learning about the lives of great men and women who left indelible marks on the sands of time has become easier for students of the lower and upper primary classes in Kerala.

Aiding them in this is a collection of 50 CDs brought out by the State Institute of Educational Technology (SIET). Each CD chronicles the life of one great figure in the form of a 30-minute documentary. Each CD contains both the English and Malayalam versions of the same documentary.

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Great personalities who find place in the SIET's collection include Socrates, Mahatma Gandhi, the Rani of Jhansi, B. R. Ambedkar, William Shakespeare, Albert Einstein, eminent lyricist Vayalar Rama Varma, writer Thakazhi, Jnanpith winner O. N. V. Kurup and Ponkunnam Varkey. There is also a CD on Buddhism.

A majority of the documentaries capture the life and work of great writers and poets of Malayalam literature.

Each documentary begins with a short life-sketch of the personality concerned. It then moves on to list the literary/scientific achievements of that person. The documentary concludes with an academic assessment of that person's achievements and his or her contributions to society.

“A student, after viewing a documentary on Newton, should be able to write an essay detailing the life and achievements of that great scientist. That was our aim in producing this series. These CDs would also help students do projects on these great figures. This series is part of our continuing efforts at ICT-enabling school education,” the SIET director Babu Sebastian explained.

For all

Though each CD cost the SIET Rs. 200 to produce, the collection was made available to more than 6,000 schools at Rs. 30 per CD. According to Dr. Sebastian it was the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan which funded the distribution of the collection to schools under its computer education project.

The SIET also has an ongoing ‘video library project' which aims at setting up and periodically replenishing a library of video content in every school in Kerala.