Videoconferencing session was held between two government primary schools

A group of around 10 students sat in a semi circle staring intently at the images projected on the wall at the Government Smart Primary School in Pangur. On the screen is a group of students which is also sitting in similar screens, barely able to contain the excitement. One of them gets up and in a loud squeaky voice announces “Hi, my name is Arun, I am studying in Government Boys Primary School, Villianur, Saravanan.”

In response, the children on this side start clapping excitedly and respond to his greeting.

Once the introductions are over, the students at Pangur then watch a puppet show put up by the teachers of the Villianur school.

The sense of excitement is palpable until the screen on the wall goes blank with a message that says “connection error.” Once the issues are rectified, the students continue their interaction, with a discussion on science for class V students and a discussion in Tamil for the Class III students.

These scenes were part of the videoconferencing session that was held between two Government primary schools on Wednesday.

“The idea is to be able to get the students and teachers from across the Union Territory to interact. Wednesday’s program was just to give the children an idea of what it was to videoconference. There are a number of possibilities that this throws open. To begin with, the Department is starting with just four schools, but in the future, there will be more schools added hopefully,” Simon Peeter Paul from the Pangur school who was a part of the project said.

If it is started at a primary level, then these children will be able to understand the use of computers and the possibilities better, he said.

In the future, videoconferencing can be used to reduce the workload for the teachers and also allow students in rural schools to have the advantages of being taught by teachers in the urban areas. Some of the best teachers can be asked to teach lessons to students from all the schools, an official from the education department said.

There are also plans to interact with students from schools in France in March, which will be a way for both sets of children to understand each other’s cultures better, he said.

The programme was inaugurated by the Deputy Inspector of Schools Zone IV Jegasirpian Colbert.

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