We will soon have a desi version of Wikipedia. Only, this one will focus on improving the education system at the school level.
The Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education is in the midst of developing an online educational resource learning and teaching materials for students, teachers and parents in both English and Marathi.
The three-year project is being funded with seed money of Rs 69 lakh by the Rajiv Gandhi Commission for Science and Technology.
On the lines of Wikipedia, whose contributors have been people from around the world, this open educational resource will be developed using the country’s “manpower” educationists, engineers, medical practitioners and social scientists will contribute to the pool of knowledge.
“Like Wikipedia, anyone wanting to access the material can photocopy, modify or even add material. There is no honorarium or copyright,” said Professor Sudhakar Agarkar, the brain behind the project.
So, if a teacher in a small town wants to teach the Charles Darwin Theory of Evolution, all he/she will have to do is to log on to the website of the Maharashtra Knowledge Corporation Limited, that is providing the software. And the web page will comprise information on Darwin, his life and factors that led to the basis of his theory. (See What’s in store)
“Many ‘why’ questions are left unanswered by teachers due to lack of knowledge. Besides, they must go beyond mere transfer of textbook material,” said Agarkar. “This has to be changed if we want to move towards a knowledgeable society."