RKCL is not just a business entity; it is a movement for the good of the people, says Dr Aatul Wadegaonkar, Managing Director, Rajasthan Knowledge Corporation Ltd (RKCL), in conversation with Anoop Verma
Give us an overview of the work that is being done by Rajasthan Knowledge Corporation Limited. What is your vision for the organisation?
Our basic mission is to bridge digital divide, bring the common people closer to ethos and provide opportunities of knowledge society and knowledgeled economy, with a view to bring the real fruits of IT to the masses for survival, development and empowerment. Currently, we are providing quality vocational computer-related education to the masses. The education is being provided in a blended learning mode, in a very structured and evidence-based environment. In our current batch, around 1.5 lakh learners are taking their training in our computer literacy course, RS-CIT. The system of learning has been developed in such a way that it is possible for us to online monitor learning progression of each learner. This helps us to ensure that each learner is able to acquire the necessary skills. Our vision is to create a digitally-literate Rajasthan.
You spoke about monitoring the learning progression of each learner to assess the quality of their learning. What kind of monitoring is being done and what aspects of education are being monitored?
All aspects of learning are being moni-tored. It is not just the marks that we are focussing on; we are also keen to identify the actual skills that the learner is picking up. In simulated eLearning en- vironment, the learner performs various differential and integral skills related assignments, the details of which get up- loaded. Similarly, learners are enabled to create society useful and productive outputs during their course of learning and a portfolio of what output they create is also uploaded.
Is the main objective of the kind of learning being offered by RKCL to make the learners job ready?
We are into developing courses that are connected with survival skills. For instance, unless you learn courses like computer literacy, financial literacy, and English language proficiency, you will not be able to survive in the modern competitive environment. It has nothing to do with direct employment but improving your employability skills. Wherever you want to get employed, even as a clerk, you must acquire these skills.
Many private players like Aptech and NIIT are also providing similar courses in all parts of the country. How is RKCL doing it differently?
The RKCL is a public limited company established in Rajasthan as a joint venture of the Government of Rajasthan; Maharashtra Knowledge Corporation Limited (MKCL), Pune; University of Rajasthan, Jaipur; Maharana Pratap University of Agriculture and Technology, Udaipur; Vardhaman Mahaveer Open University, Kota; Rajcomp Info Services Ltd; and Centre for e-Governance. Today, RKCL has a franchise network of 2,000 centres across the state. No one else has such a huge network. We want to deliver high-tech, high-touch education to the masses. All other players have a district-level presence, whereas our presence is up to the block level. The fee structure for our courses is also very low; it varies between `2,300 – 3,000. Our courses are evidence-based and our eLearning framework is designed to ensure implementation of high-tech with human touch; appreciation to imitation than from imitation to emulation; from emulation to self-expression; from self- expression to self-confidence; and from self-confidence to self-esteem approach to ensure guaranteed learning. All other frameworks lack on this front and are instructor-driven, where learners are taught and it is assumed that essential skills are imparted.