Himachal Pradesh, the mountain state famous for its picturesque beauty, anti-plastic stance and a very high literacy rate has decided to up the ante in education once more.
In order to plug the gap between urban and rural students, it has launched a Virtual Class room program under which the state would provide education through satellite connectivity in 280 schools and 4 District Institute of Education Training (DIET).
Commenting on the introduction of Virtual learning, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said, while addressing students after a presentation by a private virtual training group at a school in Shimla, that, “the latest technologies would add to the efforts of the state government in the field of education.”
He further added;”In order to supplement the endeavors of the state government to impart qualitative and digital education for better utilization of technology of virtual classrooms, satellite connected learning has been provided in 280 schools and four DIETs and 7000 school teachers have been imparted training of ICT using internet and e-contents through Very Small Aperture Terminal Technology (VSAT).
According to the Mr. Singh, “Technology best suits the state where schools are located in remote areas as it would help in reducing the huge gap between the students studying in cities and rural areas and give equal opportunity to all the students to reap the benefits of the virtual classrooms.”
Under the National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF), Information and Technology (IT) based education is being provided free of cost in 385 schools of Himachal Pradesh covering approximately 15000 students.
Gloating over the success of his state in achieving 88 percent literacy rate, he hoped that the virtual classrooms would ‘help us to improve a lot providing ample opportunities to the students to learn.’
According to the Principal Secretary (Education), RD Dhiman, under Information, Communication and Technology (ICT), Scheme of Government of India, “628 schools of the State were selected in 2005-06 and during the second phase 1525 schools were added in the year 2015. At present 2138 schools were covered under the scheme and 50 schools have their own multimedia centre.” He also claimed that 7000 school teachers were given training in the use of ICT using internet and e-contents.
The greatest benefit of using virtual education for a weather sensitive state such as Himachal is that education can continue without impediments even when climactic temper doesn’t permit so.
Highlighting this issue, Sanjay Chavan, the Chief Technology Officer from Mumbai stated how uninterrupted technology like VSAT are viable in any weather conditions with an added benefit of conducting live lectures by experts in different parts of the country.