Students who cannot afford coaching classes, or refuse to attend them, will soon get help from the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs). Teachers from IITs and Kendriya Vidyalayas have come together to record lectures that will help students of Classes XI and XII clear their conceptual knowledge and crack the Joint Entrance Examination. The lecture series is called ‘IIT Pal’.
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Two hundred lectures each for Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Biology will be recorded by teachers and will be telecast on a national television channel by the Human Resource Development Ministry. The telecast will start from January 1. “Not everyone can afford coaching classes. The lectures will be free and will be telecast on television. Our aim is not to compete with coaching classes. We don’t care about them. The lecture series comes at a minimal cost and even if 10 students from villages benefit from them, we will consider our work successful,” said IIT-Delhi director V Ramgopal Rao.
About 80 per cent of the teachers, who are recording lectures or helping school teachers with the material, are from IIT-Delhi. There will be separate lectures on every topic so that students can choose the lecture they like. “Our focus is on helping students clear their concepts. These are things we find missing in students who join IIT as undergraduates,” said Sanjeev Sanghi, head of the education technology centre at IIT-Delhi.
Teachers are looking for ways to make the format of the lectures interactive. “As of now, students will be able to write to the teachers to clear doubts. Other forms of live interaction are also being discussed,” Rao said. Rao also said the institute does not intend to increase its undergraduate intake by much in the coming years, primarily because it doesn’t have space to accommodate more students.
“We plan to start a department of design soon and a few seats will be added under an undergraduate course there. We do plan to increase the number of PhD students by almost 20 per cent each year. The older IITs need to shoulder the responsibility of research. The government would like us to increase the seats but we can’t house the students,” said M Balakrishnan, member of the IIT Delhi governing council.
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