The Computer Aided Learning (CAL) project has taken off on an experimental basis in a number of government middle schools in Puducherry. The project aims to evolve a demonstrable model for implementing CAL in a full-fledged and efficient manner in government schools.

The project, which is being undertaken by the Directorate of School Education, Government of Puducherry and Azim Premji Foundation, has been put in place in 20 experimental and 18 control schools, according to Director of School Education S. Sundaravadivelu.

“The aim of the project is to see how computers will help in learning. The foundation had carried out a baseline study. They have prepared CDs after mapping the lessons, including mathematics, and distributed to the experimental schools. The concept of the lessons will be in the CDs. Presently, we are covering Classes III to V under this project,” he said.

The directorate had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the foundation in 2008. The project's progress was reviewed nearly two to three months ago.

“With the CDs in place, the foundation will be training the teachers in using the facility appropriately. We will have to see how the teaching and learning will improve using CAL,” he pointed out.

Though the progress is yet to be analysed completely, the director said it had instilled interest among students in operating computers. “The students find it interesting to visualise the concepts including mathematical concepts. They have started to operate the computers,” he stated.

By the end of the academic year 2010-2011, the directorate will analyse the results of the CAL project in the 20 experimental schools, Mr. Sundaravadivelu.

“We need to analyse what changes are essential for improving CAL and factors required to make it successful and beneficial. Presently, it is in the experimental stage, and we have to concentrate on the critical areas for implementing CAL in a better and efficient manner as providing computers alone is not enough,” he stated.