Smart Classroom coming up at Manikarampalayam school with Dell, American Indian Foundation’s assistance
Those picturing government schools as still being run in rickety structures without even the most basic of facilities are now in for a rude shock.
A hi-tech ‘Dell-connected’ Smart Classroom replete with a touch screen digital board, projector, 25 laptops and three years of unlimited broadband connectivity is coming up at the Corporation High School in Manikarampalayam here.
To be launched shortly, it is a collaborative effort of Coimbatore Corporation, Dell, the multinational computer technology company, and American Indian Foundation (AIF), a non-profit organisation working across India. The project aims to change the orientation of teaching methodology from blackboards to digital.
Corporation Commissioner T.K. Ponnusamy told The Hindu here on Thursday that the ultimate objective was to bring in the latest technology into Corporation schools and elevate their standards to bring them on par with the best of private schools.
Besides making learning an enjoyable experience, he said that similar initiatives have already reduced dropout rates and absenteeism. Teachers have also received training to teach using the computers and online material. This project was part of ‘Digital Equaliser’ (DE) Programme - for which the civic body had inked a three-year MoU (2012-15) with the Foundation –under which subject content was provided in Tamil language through technology. It covers all the 10 high schools, 16 higher secondary schools, and one special school of Coimbatore Corporation, which had provided 464 computers for the project.
By the end of three years, Mr. Ponnusamy said that all the subjects would be taught through computers. While resource persons were being provided by the Foundation, the Corporation had created the requisite infrastructure for this project.
According to officials, the Smart Room would benefit 432 students of Standards VI to X at the Manikarampalayam school. These students would have at least two classes per week in the Smart Classroom.
V. Alexander, zonal coordinator (DE programme) of foundation, said that the project aimed to make it “happy and interesting” for students to learn, develop critical thinking and foster creative and collaborative learning.
Under the DE programme, the Foundation had already completed training to 219 teachers and 5,383 students, out of whom 295 have been chosen as Student Master Trainers. While students submitted 306 projects using computers and all the technology they have learnt, teachers have also contributed 117 projects.