THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The state government will soon roll out a telepresence network linking all engineering colleges and IT parks in the state to impart advanced skill training to 50,000 engineering students a year and create a skill database of students. The government has given the nod for the project-- Skills Development Platform Kerala--with a total outlay of Rs 90 crore. While the government will set up the telepresence network, the colleges will have to implement hi-tech classrooms for about 70 students. The project which was announced in the maiden budget of the LDF government will be rolled out in a phased manner over the next four years.
IT department sources said that the project could be extended to all the 150-odd engineering colleges in the state. The APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University would be asked to suggest the educational institutions that need to be brought under the network on priority basis. The government would provide assistance for purchase of computing devices to students participating in the programme. But it would be limited only to those who secure admission though merit seats. The programme envisages creating a state-of-the-art learning platform for remote delivery of high quality skill programme through 150 hi-tech classrooms and offer minor degree programmes on formal skills.
The target is to impart skill training to 50,000 students every year. A skill database having profile of students would also be developed and made accessible to industry for recruitment of fresh graduates with skills. This could enhance the employability of the students. The Kerala State Information Technology Infrastructure Limited (KSITIL) has been designated as special purpose vehicle for the project and ICT Academy would be the consultant for the content development. The services of experts would also be sought for content development.
New App to give entrance training
A former Kerala cadre police officer, who quit his job, started an innovative app for training students for the engineering entrance examinations. Mr Rajan Singh, former Kerala cadre IPS officer, who was the brain behind the ConceptOwl, a newly- launched Thiruvananthapuram-based educational start-up, says that the present job gives him more freedom to be innovative unlike the police job where every innovation has to be within what the system permitted.
Mr Singh told Deccan Chronicle that the idea of the new start-up was to combine innovative, state-of-the-art technology with deeper learning to change how students prepared for all-India medical and engineering examinations. It was aimed to produce a crop of students passionate about science, and not just successful examination candidates. "In addition to providing entrance coaching, we are also offering a specially-designed programme called 'Joy of Learning,' which builds deep concepts in fun and exciting formats. Students will have the opportunity to regularly interact with IITians, prominent doctors, scientists and entrepreneurs. They will learn not just about exam preparation, but how to think big, said Mr Singh.
"We have tied up with one of the best entrance coaching groups, Bansal Classes, based in Kota, Rajasthan," Mr Singh said. ConceptOwl has also plans to offer free coaching to 25 meritorious students, half of whom will be girls, from economically weaker sections. At present the company offered full-year classroom programmes for classes 9, 10, Plus-2, and repeater students. The preparations focus on clearing doubts in classrooms and online, regularly monitoring the performances and progress of students. The classes use demos, experiments and videos to illustrate concepts and make learning fun. There was also a plan to introduce mechanised learning, Mr Singh said.