Challenges in
Use of ICT
in Rural Indian schools
23 April 2005
A not for profit organization
Operational since 2001
135 plus full-time professionals
600 plus in field - project based
Vision
“Significantly contribute to achieving
quality universal education to facilitate
a just, equitable and a humane society.”
RATIONALE OF TECHNLOGY INITIATIVES
LEARNING PLAY
ASSESSMENT FUN
EQUAL KNOWLEDGE
FOR ALL
TARGET GROUP
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
Currently prioritized
Classes covered
8
OUR EXPREINCE FROM
(Punjab)
(Rajasthan)
(Gujarat)
1299
108(Uttaranchal)
200
517
(Maharashtra)
28 (Chattisgarh)
600 (Orissa)
49
(Karnataka)
467
No. of Schools
as on 31 March 2005
Program currently active : 5089
Program being activated : 1816
No. of teachers trained : 7824
No. of Children covered : 745000
3273 (Andhra Pradesh)
41 (Pondicherry)
323
(Andaman & Nicobar)
The imperative need to scale
165 Million Children
in 1 Million schools
325 languages
spoken
Literacy is 65%
18% of world Population
& 2.4% of land area
35% less than 15 years
Only 1 out of 3 completes up to 10th standard
35 million in the age
group of 6-14
out of school
1 out of 3 children in
5th standard unable
to read & write
ON-SCHOOL MODEL
The ON-school model
• Standalone Multimedia Desktop PCs
• Different Platforms
•No internet connectivity
• No trained person
•Few Schools provided with printers
OFF-SCHOOL MODEL
The OFF-school model
•Situated ½ to 1 Km from school
•Centres not exclusively used for children
•Internet facility available
•Trained person present
•Microsoft Operating System used
PARTNERSHIP
Community
State Government
Ownership &
Content validation,
Sustenance
Resource persons,
Infrastructure & Monitoring
Content, Teacher training
& Support
THE TECHNOLOGY CHALLENGE
•Schools get Computers from multiple sources
• Centrally sponsored Innovative Education fund
• Used computers through donation
• Elected representatives Local Area Development Fund
• Locally mobilized resources
• Challenge is to make content work on
• All Platform
• Lowest available Configuration
• In adverse power situations
CONTENT
Type of
Content
Description
Applications
developed in
Child centric
Learning
Content
Assessment
Software
Curricular concepts
taught in classes
1-8
Computer Based
Assessment
Macromedia
Director and
Flash MX
MSDE and Visual
Basic 6.0
Monitoring
Software*
Tracking usage of
computers
MS Access and
Visual Basic 6.0
* Software being field tested
RESEARCH
Karnataka
Computer aided learning found to have beneficial impact
on children with learning disabilities, mainly on their
social behavior, attention, oral communication skills
and motivation.
{Study conducted by the Spastic society of Karnataka}
Difference in performance between experimental
schools and control schools found to be
‘significant’ in Andhra in classes 3,4 and 5.
{ANOVA (ANalysis Of VAriance) conducted in AP}
Andhra Pradesh
SPECIFIC CHALLENGES
Hardware
OPERATING
SYSTEMS
Configuration
Costs of Hardware
Monitoring & Up time
Electricity/Power availability
OPERATING SYSTEM
Operating
system
Learning
content
Win9X,
Win2K,
WinXP
Red Hat
Linux 8.0 and
above,
Debian
Linux,
Mandrake
Assessment
software
Monitoring
software
Above
Win2K
With
Wine
Tool
Being
tested
HARDWARE CONFIGURATION
MINIMUM H/W and S/W REQUIREMENT FOR BEST
PERFORMANCE OF LEARNING CONTENT:
Hardware: Pentium III 500Mhz/128 MB SDRAM/20GB
HDD/Multi media kit
Software: Windows98SE and above
Linux 8.0 and above
Linux with Wine for Director based Content
ISSUE
To make the learning content work
satisfactorily with low end PCs
COSTS OF HARDWARE
Issues:
1. High Costs of computers a hurdle in reaching
larger number of schools.
2. Cost a severe restriction in ensuring adequate
Student : computer ratio.
3. Operating expenses like electricity/maintenance
a drain on community resources.
COSTS OF HARDWARE
Solutions:
• A model with 3 terminals connected to single PC (P-4, 2.8,
Prescott, 1 MB cache, 865 G, 512 MB RAM) deployed.
• Model provides for simultaneous and multiple access to
learning content. No performance deterioration noticed.
• Acquisition costs, maintenance costs and consumption of
electricity has been substantially impacted.
Solutions being sought:
• Improved hardware device/software to enable additional
connections of terminals.
• Low power consuming and low cost desktop computers.
ELECTRICITY - ISSUES
Lack of power
Quality of power
Faster Recharge of Batteries (tubular) and prolonged
battery life
Solutions:
Lack of Power:
Deployed Solar power pack to provide 3 hour back up.
Quality of power:
Developed step up stabiliser with capability of stepping up
voltage from as low as 55 v to 215v.
Higher battery charging current
ELECTRICITY - ISSUES
Solutions being sought:
• Desktop PC which can operate in low voltages
• Low Cost Solar panel
• To address issues of corrosion in batteries.
• To recharge the batteries in shorter durations.
• Low cost equipment for Wind power.
• Feasibility of Fuel cell technology
Monitoring
Issues:
• Tracking usage of computers by children
• Real time monitoring
Solutions:
• Pilot version of the Software to track usage of
computers and access of content by children is
under test.
Proposed:
• To deploy tracking software and provide for daily
reporting of consolidated usage of computers
through GSM/CDMA devices.
Solutions sought:
• Low cost devices/modems enabled to operate on
both GSM/CDMA.
COMPUTER UP TIME
Solutions sought:
1. Diagnostic tools for early warning on health of
PC.
2. To Guide user on preventive maintenance
3. System
triggered
supervisor
warnings
to
supplier/
Technology for Teacher centric Content
Solutions being sought:
• Low Cost LCD Projectors/display equipment
• Low Maintenance costs.
(Punjab)
(Rajasthan)
With Appropriate Technology we can reach 1
(Gujarat)
million schools and 200 million children
(Chattisgarh)
(Orissa)
(Maharashtra)
(Andhra Pradesh)
(Karnataka)
(Pondicherry)
(Andaman & Nicobar)
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