e-Basta to lighten book load for students

Government has recommended book publishers to upload school books to e-Basta website
Chennai: The Union government with an aim to reduce the physical book load on students has come up with ‘e-Basta’, a concept of supplementing e-books with school books. The government has recommended book publishers to upload school books or any book the school wants on to e-Basta website for students to download and use. In line with the Union government’s Digital India initiative, the ministry of human resource development (MHRD) has created e-Basta to make schools access books in digital form as e-books for use in tablets and laptops.
The main idea is to bring various publishers (free as well as commercial) and schools together on one platform.The teacher can use a variety of resources, including animation, audio books and videos to teach students and schools can also share the content they had developed using e-Basta. This has several advantages for students too. It can be used to reduce the burden of physical books and also provide long-term reduction in cost.
In an attempt to test the efficiency and usage of e-Basta some top private schools in the city have tried it on pilot basis. Alwin Memorial Public School in Selaiyur is one such
school.“We provided tablets to teachers and 170 class eight students loaded with e-Basta content. This had animation, graphics integrated with text. This made teachers impart education with ease and students learnt concepts well,” said Dr N.Vijayan, correspondent of the school.
Pointing out that the cost of a tablet was less (Rs2, 500-Rs3, 000) than what school books cost, Dr Vijayan argued that as the project involved no recurring expenditure, schools will put the concept to use. His school plans to implement e-Basta for classes six to nine from the coming academic year. With students taking the tablets home, schools hope that it will bring down the bookload of students and make learning a joyful experience.
However, eminent academician and school education expert Dr S.S. Rajagopalan says that it would be difficult to implement it in government schools and schools in the rural areas.“CBSE schools and matriculation schools in the city will use e-Basta but government schools cannot. Complete dependence on technology is not good and this concept also needs a lot of training for teachers and students,” he added.
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