A residential e-learning programme conceptualised by research student Satish Navale will now help visually challenged students at the University of Pune (UoP). The project,inaugurated on Thursday by scientist Vijay Bhatkar at Physics department of UoP,will begin in Kolhapur this year.
Talking about the programme,Navale said,The project focuses on e-learning for visually challenged students. These students are deserving,but since they have to depend on a writer (to write their exam) or reader,they end up scoring less than others. Moreover,the curriculum designed is also not on par with that of other students. For instance,a Class X visually challenged student would study what a student normally studies in Class VIII. E-learning will give them a chance to be a part of the mainstream.
The project,which is residential,will begin in Kolhapur with 18 students (10 girls and 8 boys). It will focus on fundamental subjects such as Computer,English,Mathematics and Science. Besides this,students will also be given basic agricultural learning by teaching them how to produce vegetables with lessons in farming.
Bhatkar in his speech said,There are over 1.5 crore visually challenged persons in India and such projects will certainly help them be a part of the mainstream and overcome challenges they face in the present system of education.
Home science is another branch that will be given priority. While visually impaired persons are self-reliant and can cook for themselves,they initially need help. Such classes will be useful for us, said Savita Arke,a student who has enrolled for this project.
Hanumant Joshi,another visually impaired person who will help these students in the course,said,We want these children to do extra reading besides the curriculum. There should be a friendly approach between normal and visually challenged students.
Appealing for financial aid,Navale said,Since this is a residential programme,the project costs Rs 2 lakh annually. We would need financial aid for the project and so we appeal to donors to help us in whatever way they can.