Deepti Lamba, Senior Vice President, IL&FS Education & Technology Services Ltd, shares her insight on the need of portable solutions in classrooms for revolutionising education
IL&FS has been making many contributions to the area of education. Tell us about mandate of the education wing at IL&FS.
When we at IL&FS talk about the need for education and solutions that will revolutionise the space, we often start by asking ourselves one question. What is the backbone of the education system? The stakeholder who needs empowerment to be able to decide the success or failure of education delivery? For us the answer is – the teacher – and we get all other answers, ideas and solutions instantly.
Our portable solutions can be deployed easily in the classroom and are simple to use and maintain.
Today, we have teachers in over 25000 schools across India and in Africa using our solutions, in turn empowering their teachers to do much more. The students get an opportunity to explore learning like never before. Imagine, students from a rural village in deep interiors of Gujarat , having the ability to touch and participate during a history class.
What should be the focus areas of quality education apart from technology?
We realise that there are three areas to be focused upon:
Teachers: How else will a program be imparted holistically? Like any professional a teacher also needs constant input and tools for improving at their tasks. Therefore, teacher training is an integral part of what we do.
Understand the needs of students: Selecting appropriate solution for the classroom is second. This requires an in depth understanding of the student group, interest, aptitude and often aspirations not only theirs but those of parents.
Content is king: Undoubtedly, technology as an enabler can only be successful if the content that goes with it is robust and based on strong research. We have a very large content and resource team, which works round the clock to innovate and produce best in class multimedia lessons.
When we have a combination of above three packaged with technology, in our case our innovative, patented technology K-Yan that is when a Knowledge Classroom (K-Class) is formed.
Not everyone is close to technology especially in the rural areas it must be a challenge to convince teachers that they should start using latest technology in classrooms?
All of these technology aids are only a facilitator and not the driver in the classroom. Bigger challenge is mindset amongst the schools and the teachers. It is walking up with them in the path till they start owning them. Once they start owning them there would be no problem.
Please shed light on recent development of K-Yan.
Today in its 8th generation, the K-Yan (Knowledge Yan) is a compact ICT tool that has been developed by IL&FS Education in collaboration with Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. K-Yan is an integrated community computer, which combines the functionality of a high end computer, projection system, audio system, large screen TV and is internet ready. K-Yan supports multiple peripherals and enables interactive learning in various regional languages apart from English.
IL&FS has bagged few ICT@school projects from various state governments. Please share with us some details.
IL&FS Education has emerged as the market leader in ICT@Schools sector. Recently, we have bagged Rs 617 crore ICT@school project from the Government of Odisha which is the largest ever mandate in this space. Additionally, we are also executing similar large scale projects such as the Maharashtra ICT@ Schools project which is spread across 2560 schools. We will be deploying KYan as part of both these projects.
We focus on maintaining quality benchmarks during the implementation of our projects and balance the needs of all the stakeholders involved, which is why we have been successful and able to sustain in an area where others are exiting due to various reasons