OTHER STATES

Virtual classrooms to function on pilot basis

Serena Josephine. M

PUDUCHERRY: The Education Department is all set to launch virtual classrooms at 20 government higher secondary schools on a pilot basis in June.

Education Minister M.O.H.F. Shahjahan told The Hindu that an investment of Rs. 1.5 crore had gone into the project. The launch of the virtual classrooms has been tentatively scheduled for June 16, he said. “We are setting up a centralised studio at the Education Department through EDUSAT. This will be connected through receiving points in different schools,” he said.

Initially, the project would cover 20 government higher secondary schools, with a mix of schools in urban and rural areas. Equipment has been installed at all schools and the works at the studio were nearing completion, he said.

Promoting an interactive way of learning for students, the virtual classrooms would be conducted through video-conferencing system. “For example, if a teacher was producing good results, he/she cannot take classes in all schools. Virtual classrooms enable utilisation of resources as the teachers can take classes from the studio,” Mr. Shahjahan said.

Apart from teaching, virtual classrooms would also facilitate conducting classes for poor students who aspired to appear for competitive examinations, he said. “We can develop personality and spoken English courses. Students who require special attention will also benefit from this project,” Mr. Shahjahan said.

At present, Tamil Nadu was providing the space for the virtual classrooms under the Indian Space Research Organisation. However, Puducherry could have its own space on increasing the network. “I am planning to sit in the studio once a month to interact with the students. Through this, I can obtain direct information on their problems and difficulties and what facilities they required at the schools,” he said.