Chief Executive Officer
S. Chand Harcourt (India) Pvt. Ltd
Could you tell us more about S. Chand Harcourt (India) Pvt. Ltd?
S. Chand, since its inception, 70 years back has maintained no. 1 position in academic textbooks in the country. In a unique combination of K-12 and higher education segment. We have a repository of almost 7000 titles to our fold. HMH being the world leaders bring with them the complete understanding of emerging needs, have invested close to 15 million dollars in developing interactive content and also building a holistic solutions of print and digital aids and solutions for schools. HMH brings its experience, content, products and investments to the company which are complemented by S. Chand to meet local needs and carry out joint development.
S. Chand Harcourt targets to provide innovative educational software solutions in different subjects to K-12 Students. Can you elaborate on these products?
The success of any technology based education solution is based on the engagement, comprehension, retention, assessment and visible enhancement of learner. The fundamental learning starts with literacy and numeracy skills. Unless & until, you do not have command over a language to express yourself properly, the learning remains incomplete. That is why we have a focus on English and Maths. Regarding Science, it is a subject which need support of technology to illustrate various dimensions and concepts. Since in India, at this stage, the use of technology is limited in schools, just dumping content would not help the school and would not be sustainable. The demands of K-12 content are difficult, expensive and demanding for digital media. It requires very strong pedagogical and instructional design inputs and that is where this joint venture brings unmatched strengths of both S. Chand and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
What do you opine about the Public Private Partnership for integration of ICT in area of education?
The public-private partnership for computer aided learning is yet to take proper shape. The present system is not favourable at all for content providers and understanding of quality content is very limited. Presently, the companies engaged in computer literacy programs with state governments are dominating this domain as the tendering process is totally inclined towards them. Till the time the government establishes content and assessment requirement as key to success of computer aided learning in core subject areas and establishes quality parameters, the PPP is not going to be sustainable.
We have done successful projects for developing products for Uttarakhand & Chattisgarh governments so far.
Talking about the Teacher Training Programmes, what is the procedure you follow for evaluation of the training provided to the teachers?
The most important factor for success of these programs is for the teacher to appreciate and understand that these programs and solutions are to support them and make their job simpler and enriching in long run. The teachers presently feel that if such programs are implemented, they would add to their present workload. We follow a very systematic approach of pre-implementation assessment, orientation, guided practice and measurement which has been highly successful.
Can you highlight your efforts taken in area of ICT integration with education imparted to Children with Special Needs? Please give details.
Some of the shelf products of HMH meet requirements of children with special needs. These products would be made available in Indian market in a phased manner. We will have to build developmental skills for such products as presently these are not available on large scale in country. HMH experience and technology transfer would surely support the joint venture.
Kindly share with our readers some of your success stories in terms of effective use of the educational solutions you provide.
Our products have an universal appeal and are modular. They offer multiple solutions to schools which are at threshold to schools which are digitally empowered. Our focus is on support and making every school work not promising the moon and not delivering it. The present market is confused with multiple players and few takers. The market would consolidate around quality, support and measurable results. So this is where companies like us would emerge.