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800 primary schools adopted for Edusat programme

By Our Correspondent

CHAMARAJANAGAR, SEPT. 4. K. Kasturirangan, former chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and director of the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bangalore, has said that IRSO would launch a satellite to promote distance education (Edusat) from Sriharikota Satellite Launching Station on September 20.

He said that the satellite would help improve the quality of elementary education in the country through the distance education programme.

First rural district

Delivering a lecture on "The role of teachers in quality improvement of elementary education" organised by the NIAS and the Department of Public Instruction at Pete Primary School here on Saturday, Dr. Kasturirangan called upon teachers to imbibe the Edusat programme. He said that a base line study had been conducted in the State for the implementation of the programme. He also said that Chamarajanagar was first rural district in the State selected for the implementation of the project and that 800 government primary schools had been adopted for the same.

Better status

He said that many teachers in the rural areas worked under a lot of stress. He expressed concern over the lack of basic amenities, adequate classrooms, teachers, and teaching aids in schools. He said that the benefits of "Operation Blackboard" had reached only 15 per cent of the 150 million school-going children in the country. He also said that he had discussed the issue with the Union and State governments and urged them to give teachers a better status.

He visited the primary school at the Jalahalli Hundi village with NIAS officials to have an interactive session with the teachers and students. The school has been adopted by the NIAS.

Empowerment

Giving details of the programme, Prabhakaran, officer in-charge of programme implementation, said that the 2,000-kg satellite was developed at a cost of Rs. 200 crores. He said that Edusat programmes had been adopted in many engineering colleges. He also said that the programme would help empower hundreds of teachers.

Installation

Dr. Prabhakaran said that antennas, receive only terminals, monitors, and other equipment would be installed in the primary schools selected for the programme soon.

The Deputy Commissioner, Harsh Gupta, said that the district administration would help implement the Edusat programme.

He said that the programme should be extended to high school students in view of the poor Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC) results in the district. The chief executive officer of the zilla panchayat, Shivanna; the Joint Director of the Department of Public Instruction, Krishnamurthy; the Deputy Director of Public Instruction, Shankar; and NIAS officials, Padma Sarangapani and Vasavi, were present.

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