Videoconferencing of classes may soon become the norm in Kendriya Vidyalaya schools across the country. The Sangathan is facing a shortage of teachers to cover its 1,100-odd schools. The worst hit are those located in remote regions such as Kargil, Leh and Tenga Valley in Arunachal Pradesh. But students here, who may be deprived of a teacher during a part of their academic year, will soon be able to tune in live to the same subject being taught at a better equipped school, Commissioner of the Sangathan Avinash Dikshit told The Hindu.
This plan is still in the experimentation stage and the other similar endeavours they have embarked upon involve creating PowerPoint presentations, video recording of lectures and circulating them to various branches. He said close to 200 schools under the Sangathan have established e-classrooms, a project initiated in 2011.
“But conferencing is a new concept, as all the students virtually connected this way actually become part of that class experience. They can also communicate with the teacher and get their doubts cleared,” said Mr. Dikshit.
The Commissioner is in the city to participate in the week-long golden jubilee celebrations of the Sangathan.
Moreover, all the content to be shared through these e-classrooms has to be created by the students and faculty of the institution. “Why buy the content when our teachers are more than capable of doing so. It is like asking somebody to read a speech written by someone else,” explained Mr. Dikshit.
Their focus, in terms of ICT-enabled learning, first rested on improving the ratio of number of students to a computer. “In most schools now, we have reached a 1:22 ratio. Now, we are planning to revamp the computer syllabus for middle school students. For instance, MS Office will not consume a chunk of portion. We will tie up with software companies to enable animation training as well,” the Commissioner said.
Plans are afoot to begin with the Model School programme of the Union government. Opening up their infrastructure, be it computer labs or playgrounds, to nearby schools on a regular basis, inviting their students for the various tournaments organised annually by KVs, and conducting joint teacher training programmes are a few options being considered. “The Planning Commission has only approved this as yet. We do not expect money to come in from State governments. So once the Centre allocates enough funds, we will begin,” said Mr. Dikshit.
Regarding science education, the Commissioner said schools had a long way to go. “We are following the CBSE pattern that has embraced activity-based learning. Even so, science education does need a lot of remodelling,” he said.