The government and IIMB to jointly implement the project

The Department of Primary and Secondary Education and the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB) will jointly launch tele-education in government schools. The collaboration announced in the State Budget will be an extension of the pilot project implemented in 2010-12.

The Satellite and Advanced Multimedia Education (SAME) project, introduced in 14 government high schools in Gubbi taluk, aimed at addressing the obstacles in the present system by providing satellite-based training for students of Classes 8 to 10 in mathematics, science and English. Animation and other innovative multimedia platforms have been integrated with the school curriculum to help students.

G. Kumar Naik, Principal Secretary, Primary and Secondary Education, said the government was planning to implement the project in the present academic year. “While the finer details and logistics are yet to be worked out, the scale of implementation could be bigger; it will definitely not be just a pilot project,” he added. Gopal Naik, Professor of Economics and Social Sciences, and chairperson, Centre of Excellence for Urban Development, IIM-B, told The Hindu: “We have not decided on the number of schools/ districts as yet because the criteria can either be the performance of government high schools or the district average in pass percentage. We hope to finalise it within a few weeks.” He said the research team of the Centre for Public Policy, IIM-B, created a design for an effective and sustainable Common Service Centre in rural India based on the findings of a study on Nemmadi Centres. They invited public and private sector organisations to form a consortium to implement the project. This was supported by the e-governance and the Department of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj.

“We found improvements in pass percentages in 14 schools with the introduction of tele-education. I will attribute the success to quality inputs – good teachers in the studio who could explain concepts very well; animation, which played a big role in making concepts clear; and the interactive nature of classes which had question and answer sessions,” Prof. Naik said. Asked if there would be a difference in the implementation of the project in its second innings, he said, “We do not see the need to do anything differently at this stage but if need be, we can spread the classes over one whole academic year. Last time, we did it for a shorter period. Now there is enough time to plan. We have fine-tuned the technology. These classes will be very useful and relevant now because the State Board syllabus has been upgraded.”