Setting up interactive terminals impractical now: Minister
KANNUR: Minister for Education E.T. Mohammed Basheer has said that non-interactive, receive-only terminals (ROT) for receiving EDUSAT programmes will be set up in all schools in the State by July.
At a meeting of people's representatives, including MLAs and heads of local bodies, and education officers here on Monday for reviewing the progress of setting up EDUSAT facilities and strengthening libraries in schools in the district, as part of a State-wide initiative in this regard, Mr. Basheer said the drive for setting up smart classrooms to receive EDUSAT programmes had been under way.
As setting up of interactive terminals was not practical in the first phase, since each of them cost Rs. 2.5 lakhs, ROT would be feasible as the cost of connectivity was less than Rs. 8,000, in addition to Rs. 25,000 for the television set.
The Minister said an exclusive education channel was proposed for the telecast of EDUSAT programmes. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) had decided to upgrade its studio for the programme.
As for the drive to improve library facilities in schools, Mr. Basheer said introduction of grading had warranted the strengthening of libraries, as education was now seen as knowledge-seeking and knowledge-production. Reading had become inevitable for students following the introduction of the new curriculum, he said.
The Government's initiative to constitute district-level committees to involve people's participation in the drive, organise reading gatherings and conduct reading and book appreciation competitions was also nearing completion in the districts. A set of 150 compact discs, including subject-related ones, would be supplied to each school library at a subsidised rate of Rs. 6,000, he said.
IT@School Director Viju Prabhakaran said 15 interactive terminals had been set up under the programme, including one at the District Institute of Education Training at Palayad here. This was in addition to 56 interactive terminals in the State, including those in engineering colleges, he said. As many as 25,000 teachers in the State had been trained in using the facilities for receiving and utilising EDUSAT programmes, Mr. Prabhakaran said. Deputy Director of Education K. Raveendran said 1.25-lakh books had been collected as part of the drive to mobilise from households books required for improving school libraries. Efforts were on to collect more titles, he said.
P. Jayarajan, M. Prakashan and K.P. Mohanan, MLAs; district panchayat president K.K. Narayanan; municipal chairman K. Upendran; Thalassery municipal chairman M.P. Raveendran and Additional Director of Public Instruction Soman were present.