A student of Social entrepreneurship at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Dickson Eugene Das has focused his attention on a project to implement e-learning into Indian government schools.Das, as part of the initiative ViREd, chose to work in two schools in Kalaburagi district of Karnataka. ViREd is an enterprise that provides flexible and effective learning content and also creates an environment where such learning is possible.
And it’s needed in Karnataka. While one of the schools he chose reported a zero pass percentage last academic year, in the other, only a handful of students passed. Das explains, “The DISE report found that around 30% to 40% of classrooms need serious repair. Karnataka having a lot of IT companies, a lot of computers are donated by IT companies but sit in mountain of dust because there is no teacher to teach the courses or no electricity for more than 50% of the time. Hence such infrastructural deficiencies like lack of teachers, electricity facilities for learning and lack of motivation to learn due to content being unappealing.”
“We seek to aggregate and create quality content, optimize the use of resources in the schools, look to create sustainable power solutions for these schools and evaluate the reception of the innovative content that is provided,” says Das regarding the initiative.
Part of that innovative content is the concept of solar panels. Das is working with companies to secure low cast high efficiency solar panels to provide power for these government schools to allow their equipment to run. Without power, e-learning is bust. But just as importantly, the teachers need to be interested in the technique and trained in a way that respects and acknowledges context. Let’s see how successfully Das is able to pull this off.