NEW DELHI

Bid to improve quality of school education

Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: Emphasising the need to work on a quality assurance mechanism for instruction and learning resources, Union Human Resources Development Minister Arjun Singh said on Saturday that the Government is committed to using Infrastructure and Communications Technology (ICT) for national and regional developments in all 53 countries of the Africa Union.

Delivering the inaugural address at the International Conference on Open Learning and Distance Education organised by the International Council for Open and Distance Education and the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), Mr. Singh informed the 300-strong delegation from 30 countries that this would be done through tele-education with one teaching end located on the University campus.

"We are committed to weeding out sub-standard system of education and the Distance Education Council, will, I hope soon be an independent authority to control and monitor all forms of open education,'' the Minister said.

Noting that the Government was committed to improving the quality of school education and providing access to the disadvantaged communities in the rural and tribal areas through the Rajiv Gandhi Project on EduSat-supported Elementary Education, the Minister said the Hindi medium project would help develop value-added ICT-enabled educational software and ensure its dissemination for improving the quality of education of children and teachers.

"Nearly 12 satellite interactive terminals and 850 receive only terminals are being established, and nearly 900 teachers are being trained as master trainers. IGNOU has also successfully experimented with FM radio stations and interactive radio counselling. The range of possibilities is amazing and should be harnessed for the good of the people,'' he said.

Lauding the country's improvement in media and technology developments, the Minister further said that "with the successful launch of EduSat by the Indian Space Research Organisation -- a dedicated satellite for education -- we are in an era where both Internet and intranet can be used for transmission, interaction, dialogue, digital repositories, digital multimedia content and for virtual education and research,'' Mr. Singh added.