Students to get tablets as Navi Mumbai clicks on digital learning

Once teachers are trained for digital teaching, tablets will be introduced to students by the civic body; students will be taught using visuals so that they remember the curriculum more accurately

Students studying in municipal schools in Navi Mumbai might very soon get exposed to digital learning. The Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) is thinking of reducing the burden of schoolbags and has started training its teachers to get familiar with digital teaching.

350 school-teachers across municipal schools in Navi Mumbai were given basic training on digital teaching on December 11
350 school-teachers across municipal schools in Navi Mumbai were given basic training on digital teaching on December 11

Last week over 350 municipal teachers were given basic lessons on digital teaching. NMMC officials revealed that through digital learning, students would be taught using visuals so that they remember the curriculum more accurately. The civic body will undertake the task of making professors tech-savvy, in groups.

Speaking to mid-day, Amrish Patnigere, deputy municipal commissioner (education), said, “We have decided to train at least 35-40 young teachers first who are tech-savvy and accordingly start digital teaching in schools. NMMC schools have a staff strength of approximately 800 teachers and not everyone is familiar with technology, so depending upon the grasping power of teachers the initiative can be brought into practice.”

He revealed that once teachers are trained for digital teaching, tablets (tabs) would be introduced to students. “We also plan to introduce tabs for students as nowadays every child is tech-savvy. This way they would grasp the curriculum better. With the help of visuals through digital learning, students will learn more quickly. However, tabs would be introduced at a later stage. Our focus as of now will be training the teachers first,” Patnigere added.

According to NMMC officials, the intention behind introducing digital learning is also to make learning a fun exercise and thereby reduce the burden of heavy schoolbags. Over 38,000 students study at 68 primary and 17 secondary municipal schools across Navi Mumbai between Digha to Belapur.

Baby steps
Earlier, this year in February, the BMC had presented a budgetary estimate of Rs 2,501.31 crore for the Education department, for the year 2015-16. The budget also announced distribution of tabs for students, for which it had kept aside Rs 35 crore.

In August this year, NMMC introduced attractively coloured library rooms across 40 municipal schools under its jurisdiction. Each library has over 1,000 books including novels and comic books in both English and Marathi. These libraries are open for students from Std I to VIII.

Last-minute disconnect?
A few months back, it was reported that the BMC had not made provisions for Wi-Fi and Internet connectivity in the schools where it was introducing tablets. These machines came preloaded with some school study material, and an e-book reader, according to reports.

Now it looks like Navi Mumbai is going the Mumbai way. When mid-day inquired about the last-minute connectivity for these tablets to be introduced in Navi Mumbai, we were told that these machines might take a few months’ time to be introduced. But no provision has been made for Wi-Fi or Internet connections at schools.

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