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Kerala to have four EDUSAT channels for school education

Staff Reporter

Bid to broaden the reach of IT education in the State

CONTENT DEVELOPMENT: Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan releasing a handbook prepared for teachers under the IT@School project, at a function organised to launch the second educational channel under VICTERS in Thiruvana nthapuram on Thursday. — Photo: S. Mahinsha

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In order to broaden the reach of IT (Information Technology) education in the State, the Education Department will launch four separate EDUSAT-based education channels for primary, secondary, high school and higher secondary classes, Education Minister M. A. Baby has said.

He was delivering the presidential address at the launch of the second educational channel under VICTERS (Virtual Classroom Technology on EDUSAT for Rural Schools) programme run by the IT@School project and the first anniversary celebrations of the VICTERS programme here on Thursday. Mr. Baby requested the assistance of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in setting up two more EDUSAT-based channels in Kerala. Director of the Satellite Communication Programme Office, ISRO, Bangalore, A. Bhaskara Narayana who was present, immediately said, "It will be given, sir."

EDUSAT project

The Education Department has been able to reach IT-enabled education to 54,000 teachers and 25 lakh students through the EDUSAT project. One of the major responsibilities of the department is making IT-enabled teaching and learning of different subjects a reality in all sectors of education. The department will focus on setting up district-level resource centres to aid the spread of IT-enabled education in the State.

The EDUSAT-based educational channels will also be used to expose the children of Kerala to educational and cultural values. Of late, Kerala has begun to emulate certain bad traits prevailing in the education sector in other States. " I am referring to the commercialisation of education. This trend of commercialisation is a predominant trait in some States and in many places around the world," Mr. Baby said.

In his inaugural address, Chief Minister V. S. Achuthanandan said the possibilities of IT as a learning tool should be fully used in schools. However, adequate content development should also be done; the capabilities of teachers in the State should be utilised for this purpose. Efforts should be taken to equip all schools with multimedia rooms. The help of local bodies is also required for this, he said.

Under the VICTERS programme, students will soon be able to watch educational content from their homes. However, it should be kept in mind that the possibilities of TV channels are limited. It is the active involvement of teachers that remains as the vital component of any educational programme, he said.

Along with reaching the EDUSAT programme to all schools, the Government would also seek to bring the Internet to all schools by linking them to the State Wide Area Network which would soon be set up in Kerala, he said.

Even though the IT@School programme did not use free software in the beginning, it started using the same following his intervention in the matter, Mr. Achuthanandan added.

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