The State Institute of Educational Technology (SIET) will soon make available to all government higher secondary schools in Kerala, a package of video CDs designed to train students to crack the entrance examinations for engineering and medical courses.

For starters the SIET will supply its ‘Entrance Top Winner’ package, already in the market, to the schools. The ‘top winner’ has 20 CDs-each of one hour duration-for the medical entrance and 25 Cds for the engineering entrance. This will soon be scaled up to 50-hours each for engineering and medicine, the SIET director Babu Sebastian told The Hindu. Each CD will cost schools Rs. 30.

The State-wide inauguration of the scheme to supply entrance CDs to higher secondary schools will be done on August 14 at the Nattikam constituency where the local MLA T.N. Prathapan released money from his local area development fund for the project. The scheme will be implemented in Aroor and Kaduthuruthi constituencies too in August. “In a matter of months we hope to make available the CDs to all higher secondary schools in the State with monetary support from MLAs,” Mr. Sebastian said.

The CDs will contain the solved question papers of the engineering and medical entrance examinations from 2003 onwards. Expert teachers will explain to the students why four out of the five choices given as answers to a question were wrong. This is expected to help students grasp how to approach different types of questions and to quickly spot the correct answer from among the five choices given in the question paper.

In addition to this the CDs will also have teachers explaining key concepts from all the subjects and model test papers. The idea is to get students to work out the maximum possible number of questions in each subject. Some of these tests will be ‘timed’ events so that students can get a feel of solving problems in a limited amount of time.

The SIET is in the process of training teachers to use the CDs in class. The plan is to set apart two hours a day - 9 a.m. to 10 .m. and 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.- to screen the CDs in classes. This would be done during holidays too, except on Sundays and on religious holidays.

“Our scheme will benefit students in more ways than one. Even as they get hours of practise on the entrance-like multiple choice questions, they also get to repeatedly learn the key concepts in Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Biology. This will help them understand the subject better and score higher grades in the higher secondary examination itself. That, in turn, will stand them in good stead when the entrance rank list is prepared by giving a 50:50 weightage to marks scored in the higher secondary and marks in the entrance examinations,” Mr. Sebastian explained.

Once the scheme is rolled out, individual students too can purchase the entrance CDs at Rs. 30 a piece. This will work out to Rs. 3,000 for both the engineering and medical packages.