Computer-aided education for rural India

In the education system full of written information, studies introduced us to the more important factor for teaching, the visual perception. And there started the development of new teaching strategies using the computer. The educational institution started using computers to teach art, writing, reading, arithmetic, science, music, history, and all sorts of things. But what about the schools in rural India? How far they have come, and did Government's initiatives has change anything at all? 


Computer-aided Education

Computer-aided education combines the two most important areas of the educational environment, the learning, and computer. In computer-aided learning, a computer program is used to assist the students or users in learning something. This method is strategized to make learning more interesting and sustainable. 

The Ministry of Education launched  Information and technology in December 2004 under Rashtriya Madyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA). They revised the policy in 2010 to provide greater opportunities for students to build their ICT skills and make them learn through computer-aided learning. They claimed it to the 'major catalyst to bridge the digital divide amongst students of various economic and other geographical barriers.' But the government's 'Digital Black Board' scheme seen to be failed when the HRD Ministry shared the factual data in Parliament about only 56% of schools in rural India having functional electricity and just 12% of schools having functional computers. 


Rural India

Roughly 60% of the rural population is engaged in agriculture work, and for a country having demography like India, where a major proportion of the population resides in rural locations, the slightest technological input can increase the skillset and production.

Also, in villages of rural India, the technology can unexpectedly reduce poverty and open urban opportunities. In schools, computers can play a larger role more than just delivering digital education material. 


Government's Involvement

During the 2016-17 session, the government allocated Rs. 31195.06 lakhs for Computer-aided learning under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA). The central government also launched Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan (RAA) to promote the creativity and enthusiasm for Science and Mathematics and the effective use of technology amongst the school-going children. 


Initiatives

Computer-aided education in govt schools of rural India can reduce persistent problems of low achievement, high dropout rates, and low attendance, which harms the education system. 

Public-private partnerships are playing a great role in providing rural India with technological knowledge and education. 


Benefits

  • Teachers can communicate with other teachers across the world and refine their work. It will also help students with the best. 
  • For the students, the much-needed research skills can be gained at a young age. The abundance of quality information will be accessible to the students. 
  • Computer-aided learning will provide flexible teaching for student's individual learning.
  • Students living in rural areas will get familiar with the outside competitive world and better opportunities and prepare themselves accordingly. 
  • The internet provides a variety of knowledge and does not limit students to one person's opinion. This benefit is highly important in today's world with fake journalism and manipulative opinion leaders. 


Ground reality

In the Annual Status of Education Report(ASER), Pratham a non-governmental organization has revealed that computers are available in 20 percent of schools in 2016 as compared to 19.6 percent in 2014. That being said, the provided computers are usually locked up in a safe space, and their utilization can hardly be seen. 

And as said earlier, the electricity supply in the villages is irregular or no electricity supply in some villages. 


Future

An after-school intervention study in Delhi conducted in 2017, shared by the National Bureau of Economic Research, found that children can learn more with the help of technology if the program is well designed, implemented, and personalized content to the child's existing knowledge level.

The governments publicize themselves for giving ICT hardware, but the real need is to integrate ICT into training and teaching. 


Image source: Google Images

Frequently Asked Questions

There are multiple types of e-learning like Synchronous training, Virtual classroom, Asynchronous training, Embedded learning, Courses, Discussion groups, and Blended learning.