Wednesday, August 12, 2015

An Idea to Educate Rural India

The technology to educate should be so easy that everyone concerned can use it and access it. The kind of technology that offers minimum constraints in rural India is actually going to help transform the education over there. There are constraints like internet connection, availability of computers, knowledge of how to download sources to help and many other thousands of things.
So, the question is can we teach the whole of rural India these complexities and even if we somehow appear successful in doing so then what are chances that it is really going to transform education. The measurement of the effectiveness of teaching is a big issue as well as the quality of education. How do we disseminate quality education among the underprivileged sections of rural India? How can we judge the effectiveness of what is taught? There are many questions like this that remains unanswered to this day. The biggest challenge remains the quality of education. It is much more relevant today than it was before. We have to ensure one thing that is that the best teacher is available to the last student of the classroom. One example of it is Khan Academy wherein one single source is available to millions of people across the globe. Such models definitely have a place in India.
In India, distant learning starts from the fourth row of the classroom itself and there is no guarantee that everyone in the classroom has understood what was taught. Measurement of the effectiveness of teaching is the biggest issue in today’s environment. If we play a serial for 30 minutes in a rural area of India, the people there would be probably answering more questions than the live traditional classroom where the same thing is done for 40 minutes. The reason to be understood for this is the richness of the medium we are using. If we have a gifted teacher who can teach in a creative class and then you expose the same kind of learning environment to a rural classroom, I think the learning is going to be far better. So, in a country like India we should consider enabling e-learning in a big way and create a set of people who are going to be facilitators of e-learning.
The biggest problem faced by rural India is the student-teacher ratio where a large number of students are taught by a small number of teachers. And this kind of disparity is going to grow in near future. The only way forward is to e-enable learning at all levels in India and measure the outcome through the test to be conducted. And a good test is a well-designed objective type test.  One more thing is capturing the essence of a great learning environment that is designed for it, encapsulate it and give it back to required place. Clarifying a doubt in the local language will be fine but the fundamentals and the way of delivery should be in the English language. This is what is going to take India forward. Knowing and speaking in English shouldn’t be looked as Elitist but it should be looked at as a requirement to improve the quality of life.
Television will be a better medium instead of a computer. Everybody would know how to use a television. To study, a DTH could help. A DTH could be that simple device to use that could leverage the learning environment that we want in rural India. The amount of time to teach them how to switch on and select the things that they want to study will take less than 5 minutes. Suppose a class wants to learn the first chapter of physics of class 11th then all that they need to know is how to operate a DTH remote. That can be taught quickly and easily enough to get what they need.  In a way, an affordable and easy medium to operate and understand is what is needed to transform the educational system in a rural background of India.

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