Pondicherry tapping e-Learning for school education
The Pondicherry Government has planned to improve the quality of school education through e-Learning. According to the Education Minister M. O. H. F. Shahjahan, a blueprint had been prepared. The teachers would train students in e-Learning with the support of centralised laboratory. A coaching centre to prepare students for various professional courses was also on the anvil. The thrust areas would include infrastructure development, orientation courses for
teachers and helping children overcome their disability to learn fast. The anganwadis would be made a hub of educational activities to encourage opening of kindergarten schools.
Deemed varsities need not get UGC approval for new courses In a relief to deemed universities,
the University Grants Commission has clarified that they do not require its approval for starting new courses or post-facto clearance. It was only a few days ago did the UGC write to most of the 103 deemed universities in the country seeking information on the courses they offered and asking them to give an undertaking that they would not start any new programme or vary student intake without its approval. Reversing its stand, the UGC in its communication said its approval is not required for starting new courses.
Progress review on Education for All movement
The Human Resources Development ministry has reviewed the progress of Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA) in India and has approved steps to fill up infrastructure gaps so as to provide education to children with special needs (CWSN). The National Mission for SSA focuses on improving the learning level of children thereby increasing the literacy rate in the country. On the occasion of the second Meeting of the Executive Committee, the HRD minister released a publication by National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA) on District Information System for Education (DISE) data for the year 2005. This is an analytical report based on the Education Practices for children at their home. Another document- “Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan: Discovering New Paths in Inclusion” was also released which was a record on the initiatives being undertaken by states to impart home-based education to Children With Special Needs (CWSN) in SSA. States have adopted different methods to provide home based education to CWSN. Cyberage PC in Goa faces
conflict The Cyberage PCs continue to be a bone of contention for the Goa ITChannel Association and the government in the state. The state government in India has decided to continue with the scheme and there is a requirement for about 22,000 PCs to be supplied to the high school students in Goa under it.
The Cyberage PC is a government of Goa initiative,
which began as an attempt to take computers to schools in Goa. Under this scheme, high school students are to get a PC irtually free, paying a nominal sum of Rs 1,000. The PCs are supplied through the IT channel to the principals of the various schools who then pass it on to their students. But Computer professionals in the state have questioned the scheme and have asked whether it would not make more sense to hand out PCs to schools, to be used collectively. There are other questions on whether the computers have been delivered as promised, and on schedule. AICTE’s new Web Portal to
make admissions easier
The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) will soon launch a new section under it’s site
www.aicte.ernet.in where students will be able to get any information regarding admission process and ven apply to more than 9000 technical institutions in the country. The portal will not only make the admission easier but also help the students to choose their best institutes on the basis of teaching standard and other facilities. The candidates who have been qualified in the AIEEE (All India Engineering Entrance Examination) will no more face problems of traveling to more than one institute for submission of application forms. They will be able to apply online and also pay their fees through credit cards. The final selection list and waiting list will also be available on the net.
Global publishers eye India to outsource e-Publishing projects
India is all set to emerge as a hub of e- Publishing because several global publishers such as Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, Prentice Hall, Macmillan, and Pearson re eyeing at India for outsourcing their e-Publishing projects. According to A. Elangovan, Managing Director of Cadgraf Digitals, the Indian companies in the e-publishing space are currently
working on books and journals for overseas clients. The process the Indian publishers follow is completely different from others. He said that Indian e-publishing houses are able to meet the clients’ requirements. While the opportunity is tremendous, the hunt is for trained manpower. There is no formal educational institute on digital publishing. People are trained by companies. Only in the last few years have Indian companies forayed into copyediting and the orders are really heavy.
India rubbishes MIT’s laptop scheme for kids
The Human Resources Development ministry in India has rejected the idea of ‘one-laptop-per-child’ (OLPC) being aggressively marketed by Nicholas Negroponte of MIT Media Laboratory. The ministry says, India must not allow itself to be used for experimentation with children in this area. The ministry’s detailed objection based on technical, social and financial grounds were sent to the Planning Commission few times back. Negroponte had made a presentation
on OLPC seeking to sell one million laptops at the rate of USD100 per unit for children, the cost to be borne by the government. HRD contends that spending INR 450 crore on digital empowerment can be better spent on primary and secondary education. The ministry says 6-12 is a highly vulnerable age group to cover in an area of human technology interface, which is so new and heavily debated.
Educomp launches online mathlearning portal
Delhi-based Educomp Solutions Ltd. launches a math-learning portal for classes 6 to 12 based on the NCERT curriculum. The product, Mathguru.com, will provide step-by-step solutions for all math problems from NCERT schoolbooks through visual and voice explanation. The subscription to the site comes at INR1,200 a year for each student. The company is targeting a subscriber base of 75,000 students in the current fiscal and 2,00,000 students by the end of the next fiscal. The portal would also have solutions categorised on the basis of
chapter so that students of other boards can also find solutions.