A laptop that comes at the cost of a textbook and a virtual classroom that is accessible through a portal! This is what the HRD Ministry is touting as a complete educational solution for students in India.
Taking students away from the boredom of a classroom, the website, Sakshat, will feature NCERT text-books, a tutorial section, links to related websites, videocasting through an education satellite, a forum to seek replies from teachers and a test module to check the intellectual level of a student.
To expand the reach of the website, the ministry plans to give laptops to primary and upper primary level students. However, that will take some time.
“We are looking at laptops or alterative connectivity modules that cost not more than $20 apiece,” informed a senior ministry official. And the assurance has come from none other than R A Mashelkar, Director-General of the Central Science Institute of Research. (CSIR).
“In three years, the gadgets would be ready,” was the official deadline, according to ministry sources. So by 2009, the website would become fully functional. “It would connect you to all the top journals and scholarship programmes from around the globe without paying a penny,” the official said.
The NCERT and the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) will provide the e-content for school and college students. The website will also keep track of the academic record of each student who enrols at the primary level till he passes out.