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IT enabled tools for education of the less privileged

SNLTR has embarked upon educational software for the school and college students in the state of West Bengal.

  For the Sightless Students

SNLTR, along with IIT Kharagpur, with support from MHRD, is involved in developing Accessible Study Material for the Blind Students. SNLTR is specifically responsible for converting Bangla text books into the DAISY format that is accepted as the standard for the documents to be made accessible to the blind people.

  For School Children

Many of the schools in the state experience the paucity of teachers. Computer Based Teaching (CBT) methods have proved to have positive effects towards the education quality and retention, due to the interactive nature of the system that allows the students to learn in a participatory mode and also present the courseware in a much more interesting manner through multimodal animations. Experiments have proved that this approach has also been able to attract back the drop outs in the rural schools back to the classrooms.

Based on the above perspective, SNLTR has undertaken the task of developing Multimedia CBTs for school students, based on West Bengal Board of Secondary Education curriculum. Presently, the following modules are ready and can be deployed in the schools.

  CBT for English for Class V

  CBT for English for Class VI

  CBT for English for Class VII

  CBT for English for Class VIII

  CBT for English for Class IX

  CBT for English for Class X

  CBT for Mathematics for Classes IX and X

  For College Students

Science and Engineering Education at the undergraduate and graduate college levels can be well be supplemented with (in fact, they require to be supplemented with) educational software for mathematical modeling, chemical modeling and physics simulations. For language teaching several software are in use as well. However, such commercially available software are very expensive and often beyond the reach of the colleges in the state. In order address this problem, SNLTR has prepared a collection of equivalent open-source software and have tuned them for use in the colleges. The set of tools christened “Saraswat” (সারস্বত) is a collection of standard open source based educational application packages available over internet. This was aimed to implement at the degree colleges followed by training to the subject teachers.

SNLTR has been implementing this project to the five government women’s colleges. The society has selected some standard educational packages (Open Source based) from the open source repository and compiled them into one CD. These include mathematics, physics, chemistry, electronics, geography, computer science etc. Next, SNLTR demonstrated the applications to some eminent professors from Indian Statistical Institute and received their recommendation letter in this regard. Further, SNLTR has arranged the testing of Saraswat by ERTL (East) and this was successfully completed in due course and the society has obtained the Testing Certificate about the software packages from the STQC, ERTL (East).

The implementation process has two stages: Installation and Training. Saraswat will be implemented to 5 government women’s colleges namely,

  Bethune College ,Kolkata

  Lady Brabourne College, Kolkata

  Nistarini College, Purulia

  Balurghat Mahila Maha Vidyalaya, Daksin Dinajpur

  PD Women’s College, Jalpaiguri.

SNLTR team has installed Saraswat at Bethune College successfully and Installation as well as training has been done in Balurghat Mahila Maha Vidyalaya. SNLTR will implement the Saraswat at PD Womens College, Jalpaiguri on 27th to 29th June 2009 and at Nistarini College, Purulia on 7th to 9th July 2009. The implementation at the Kolkata based colleges will be done after admission of 1st year degree student process is over, which is likely 2nd week of July 2009. SNLTR team is constantly in touch with the college authority of these colleges. SNLTR desires to take the task further to deploy the tools in all colleges based on the government support.

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