Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas are residential schools intended to provide modern quality education to the rural children in the country. V Nageswararao, Deputy Commissioner, Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti (NVS), discusses the trends and future prospects of JNV schools in the field of technology integration.
V Nageswara rao
Deputy Commissioner, Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti, Hyderabad Region
What is your vision for the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (JNVs) in the digital age?
JNVs aim to break the digital divide between the rural and the urban India by providing high quality learning environment using technology as a tool. JNVs envision providing opportunity for the parents to access the performance of the children on NET. We wish to see that JNVs extend helping hand to the local school systems in the vicinity of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas as pace setting Institutions.
What is the strategy devised for successful deployment of ICTs in JNVs? What are the specific technologies used in your region?
Turnkey model introduced in 1991 gave us the freedom to implement the ICT in an effective manner at the first instance. In the phase, we have adopted number of initiatives including intensive training for the principals who are the main implementors of the programmes in schools; procurement of VSAT connectivity; connecting all the JNVs through Broadband or dialup connections; many of our schools are being covered under Esusat programmes; all JNVs have been provided with 2 laptops to facilitate the teachers to carry interactions in the class; ever JNV has atleast one DLP projector; every JNV has atleast one Smart Class with one big TV connected to the computer and the Internet; correspondences with JNVs are done on email; web enabled radio is also being implemented in JNVs; and every JNV has a defined curriculum and textual material for ICT introduction prepared by `Samiti`, a well qualified teacher and regular programmes.
What are the initiatives undertaken by NVS, Hyderabad for capacity building?
All the principals and the teachers have been trained in ICT utilities. Many teachers have been trained in ICT application in association with Intel, Microsoft, Oracle and IIIT Hyderabad. These training programmes range from ICT introduction to preparation of digital content. More tan 100 teachers have been able to create their own digital content.
What are the partnership areas where NVS has taken support from the industry players?
As stated earlier, NVS has associated with Intel and Microsoft since 1997. With the help of Edcil, NVS also had brief association with NIIT, ICS, CMC (Erstwhile), Vintech, Aban and many other educational software solution companies. Besides, NVS is in constant partnership with Ernet India, Oracle, Microsoft and Intel in training the teachers and updating their skills in ICT adaptation. Many of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas have received national awards introduced by Ministry of IT since 2004. Most of our Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas are conducting training for the teachers of neighbourhood schools and also the government officials.
What are the key areas of concern in the process of ICT integration and how have you overcome those?
The key areas of concern comprise of training provisions for the teachers and the principals with regards to extensive use of ICT in classrooms; and non availability of software, which we are now addressing by linking with big corporates like Microsoft and using freely available softwares.
How are ICT facilities in schools being shared for community benefits?
The facilities available in JNVs are being extended to other government residential school institutions such as Social Welfare and Tribal Welfare schools. There is sharing of information through subject-wise blogs developed by JNVs. Furthermore, students of teacher training colleges and teachers of the neighbouring schools keep visiting JNVs and get exposed to the facilities and practices.
What are your plans for going to the next stage?
We plan to involve the teachers for collaborating with the best institutes in the world through projects; develop multimedia tools, prepared by the teachers, that are customised; link all the classroom interactions through eLearning modules; and to train all the teachers and principals to adopt technology as a way of life.