May 29, 2017

Nearly 500 blind Kerala teachers to be trained in IT

BYPankaj Mishra

Close to 500 blind teachers in Kerala will be trained in the various facets of information and communication technology (ICT) to help them to teach effectively using technology. This will be done in a month’s time, said a official of the state’s IT@School Project.
This will be done under the project as part of implementing the Hi-Tech School programme in the state, said project chief K Anvar Sadath.
By now more than one lakh teachers in state-run schools have been trained under it.
Earlier in 2011, IT@School had imparted basic IT training to all blind teachers in the state, and received special appreciation from Union human resource development ministry.
With the completion of the current training, Kerala will become the first state in the country to have trained all visually challenged teachers in ICT, which focuses on the possibilities of ICT in education, rather than mere training in computers.
“The training for the regular teachers emphasises on specific subject wise content, developed entirely on free and open source software platform. The accessibility gaps of the software used for such training are assessed and then new customised packages are being incorporated, for the benefit of the visually challenged teachers,” said Sadath.
The training includes activities such as preparation of documents and presentations which will assist in classroom teaching, language computing, digital content collection from the internet and its legal aspects, audio recording and video editing. The educational applications which are used for the regular training are customised for the benefit of visually challenged teachers.
“The joy goes up to its peak now as we are learning to apply it in our class rooms. It’s like we are getting our eyes back…,” said Sebastian, a teacher who is almost fully blind and works as a teacher in a state-run school in Ernakulam district.

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Pankaj Mishra is a writer of FactorDaily.