Visually challenged teachers in Kerala get ICT training

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Tvm: Adding feathers to the ‘Digital Inclusion’ programme in the country, the IT@School Project has imparted ICT training to all the 238 visually challenged teachers in Kerala. The five day training programme which concluded today was completely undertaken by using Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) based screen reading software named ORCA and the programme was conducted simultaneously using the Project’s training centres spread across the State.

The training started with the incumbent getting familiarised with keyboard typing and gradually learning the basics of Operating System, Word processing, Folder creation, Data transfer using CD / Pen drives, navigation using shortcut keys, learning audio and video players including sound recording and also internet.

In a release, K Anvar Sadath, Executive Director, IT@School Project said, “Integrating ICT in education is our mission and in order to implement a complete ICT enabled educational system in the State, it was important that differentially abled teachers are also trained in ICT, which not only boots their confidence but also have a positive impact in classrooms as well.” Being the ICT arm of General Education Department of Govt of Kerala, IT@School Project imparts training to the student and teaching populace of the state, and each year an estimated 2 lakh teachers and 50 lakh students are benefited through ICT enabled education.

The training for visually challenged teachers in FOSS platform is of multi-dimensional significance. Most of the screen reading software which are currently available in market are priced at an average cost of Rs.40,000 each with stringent restrictions for sharing. The FOSS based ORCA software which is currently been used, not only provides facility for the user to modify the application as per his needs, but also enables him / her to share the application to anyone without any restrictions. This FOSS software is currently been provided by IT@School Project to all schools in the State for the benefit of differentially abled teachers and students.

Rajaneesh, one of the trainers of the innovative training programme, who is a visually challenged person as well said, “Most of the visually challenged teachers were using the computers for the first time. Despite using the computers for the first time in their life, the enthusiasm of these teachers got to a high when they started to prepare the documents using Open Office Writer and also while they learned the CD-DVD burning processes”.

Kerala IT News

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