Students in rural schools of Gujarat get to see for real all that they learn

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Nothing can be worse than teaching children about different cultures, monuments, experiments, etc and asking them to visualise without giving them any visual presentation.

Schools in urban areas still have the facilities and funds to take students out and show them or even have special screenings in classrooms, but what about those who study in rural areas, where even a blackboard or furniture is a privilege.

Here comes the concept of digitalised classrooms, which gives students and even teachers an audio and visual presentation of what they are learning and teaching in textbooks and otherwise also.

This concept of digitalised classrooms is gaining momentum in urban areas as an array of companies has come up that offer computer-backed classroom teaching.

This market also gained momentum when the Indian government funded Sarva Siksha Abhiyaan for ICT@Schools programme with Rs 15 lakh per district per year.

And to make sure this initiative is also taken to the rural areas, one of the companies is 'Learning Delight' that has till now digitalised 3,300 rural government schools across nine districts of India's western Gujarat state.

Two students from Nirma University, Harshal Gohil and Vandan Kamdar, came up with the idea of Learning Delight while they were pursuing MBA only.

"We came up with this idea five years back when we were studying at Nirma. We wanted to back rural classrooms with technology so that students could also see what they learn. Learning Delight is not only for students but also for teachers as technology makes teaching also easy. You can't leave everything on a student's imagination," said Vandan.

Shortcomings:
When Harshal and Vandan went to different rural government schools in Gujarat, they found there was no uniformity and teachers were just verbally explaining everything to students.

"When an audio-visual medium adds to textbook learning, it becomes a memory and you don't forget it your entire life. Now, the words have become videos too," said Vandan.

Challenges:
Getting a digital concept to small classrooms can be a tough task as faculty and students are always sceptical to try new methods of teaching and learning.

"Teachers, initially, were apprehensive in learning new technology. They thought learning computers will be a cumbersome task. We had to convince them and tell them it was easy to navigate. They finally were convinced and now you can see the reach," said Parinita Gohil, who joined forces with them later.

Parinita said motivating block level officers to adopt technology is also a task but they are changing with times.

Curriculum
Learning Delight mapped the Gujarati state board curriculum into audio-video presentations. Presently, they cater to Class 1-8.

They also take regular feedbacks from students and teachers. Apart from textbooks, the learning is also made a delightful experience by incorporating animation, riddles, puzzles and stories, aligned to support teacher and class interaction.

Funding and future plans
Learning Delight gets donations from individuals and organisations and is taking this venture to Rajasthan next.

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