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Distance shrinks as you SIT, learn

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AN EFFECTIVE WAY: An interaction from the studio at Puducherry with students at Lawspet through the Satellite Interactive Terminal launched in Puducherry on Tuesday.
AN EFFECTIVE WAY: An interaction from the studio at Puducherry with students at Lawspet through the Satellite Interactive Terminal launched in Puducherry on Tuesday.

Staff Reporter

Virtual classrooms launched in Union Territory

PUDUCHERRY: Enabling interaction between experts and students from miles apart, the Education Department on Tuesday launched the Satellite Interactive Terminal (SIT) at 21 centres across the Union Territory.

Education Minister M.O.H.F. Shahjahan launched the SIT and studio during the “Students Day” celebrations and interacted with teachers and students at the Block Resource Centres (BRC) at Yanam, Lawspet and Thiruvalluvar.

“Is this facility beneficial to you? Through this, we will take classes in subjects in which you are weak. You can clear your doubts from the centre,” the Minister told students at the BRC, Lawspet, from the studio set up at the Education department.

The facility, which has been jointly set up by the Education department, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), aims to take virtual learning to students of government schools.

“The entire facility including the studio has been set up at the cost of Rs. 60 lakh. There are four centres at Karaikal, one each at Mahe and Yanam and the rest in Puducherry,” State Project Director of SSA R. Parthasarathy said. As of now, States such as Tamil Nadu and Haryana were fully utilising Edusat facility. “Students of government primary schools, middle schools, high and higher secondary schools in the vicinity of the centres would be covered,” he said.

Yanam and Mahe being far-off places, the virtual classrooms would help in maintaining connectivity. The centres have been connected with the studio through uplinking facilities, officials said. A schedule would be prepared for conducting classes through the SIT. There are plans to allot 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. for Class X students and 4.15 p.m. to 5.15 p.m. for Class XII students, he added. Till now, teachers who were good in a particular subject were confined to a school. With this interactive facility, the expertise would be utilised to cover all students, Mr. Parthasarathy pointed out.

It is not only for academics, but SIT has also shrunk space for administration purposes. “The Director can interact with all headmasters through the facility avoiding waste time. Slide shows are possible and we can also put up virtual online exam question papers,” he said. Each centre can accommodate a minimum of 50 students. Training would be imparted to 1,050 teachers at a time. Apart from these, video conferencing on various aspects of management has become easier through the transmission centres, officials of the department said. There are plans to expand the facility to all schools in the Union Territory within five years. At present, the SIT has been launched at schools including Thiruvalluvar Government Girls Higher Secondary School, Bharathi Government Higher Secondary School, Bahour and Arignar Anna Government Higher Secondary School, Karaikal.


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