Identifying the digital divide in the education sector, which came to the fore during the Covid-19 pandemic, and the need to promote e-learning for future learners, the Pune Knowledge Cluster (PKC) Friday launched ‘Teach with Tech’ for school students and teachers.
PKC, which functions under the Office of Principal Scientific Adviser, Government of India, has adopted five Pune schools where the pilot project will be introduced in the current academic year.
The five schools that will benefit from the project include Modern High School, Shishu Vihar, Pune Vidyapeeth High School, Shri Shivaji Vidya Mandir, Nutan Marathi Vidyalay Girls High School and Baburao Gholap School.
At the Shishu Vihar School, the project will be implemented for students of classes VI and VII.
The project aims to create digital content on the lines of the National Education Policy 2020, train teachers in using digital tools to improve the learning process, and develop and impart skills, critical thinking, and problem-solving abilities in students among others.
During the launch, Professor Ajit Kembhavi, PKC Principal Investigator, said, “We are all familiar with the conventional learning methods involving physical classes, teachers physically teaching in classrooms and students taking notes in books. But the Covid-19 pandemic affected physical learning for many students in the absence of digital tools. But the pandemic helped introduce remote learning.”
‘Teach with Tech’ aims to conduct 100 sessions i.e. 20 sessions each for the five schools. In the pilot phase, it aims to reach out to 750 students and 250 teachers from Zilla Parishad schools in Pune.
“We have now launched a digital learning project before a similar situation arises. This is a step to help stay prepared and thus keep learning going. The project will also facilitate teachers to stay updated,” Professor Kembhavi said.
Global technology giant Lenovo will support the project by providing tablets to the schools identified using its CSR funding.
Pankaj Harjai, APAC Tablet Head, Lenovo, said, “Lenovo wants to enable and make education easier for teachers and students through technology.”
The timely availability of tablets or mobile phones for learning has been a pressing issue for Marathi-medium schools, said a teacher from the Girls High School.