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Anvar Sadath, CEO of Kerala Infrastructure and Technology for Education (KITE)

 

The Victory of Victers

By Wirenews |30 June 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic days with lockdown has moved school education into online classrooms. In Kerala, it is pioneered by the Victers channel. The content that they produced for the school children in Kerala has been appreciated by all. And all this success belongs to the Victers team headed by K Anvar Sadath, CEO of Kerala Infrastructure and Technology for Education (KITE). Here is an exclusive online interview with him.

Wirenews: Congratulations Mr. Anvar to you and your team for the excellence work done to sustain the quality of online education in Kerala. Victers have done it well. Can you share your experiences working on this wonderful project?

Anvar Sadath: When the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown was initiated in the third week of March 2020 all the ongoing school classes and examinations were halted. Everyone was looking at a solution to overcome this crisis. And Victers plunged into action to cope with the challenges and to bridge the academic gap to the extent possible, through various systems already in place in education as part of the projects implemented by KITE. 

Over 81K Primary teachers were given an online specific ICT training using Samagra resource portal in a self-learning mode.

A special program for Kids called Avadikala Santhoshangal (Happy Vacation Times) was rolled out by which digital contents were developed in specific edutainment form so that the students can acquire the defined skills through various games and activities.

A unique program viz Akshara Vriksham (which means Alphabet Tree in Malayalam) were designed on School wiki platform and over 56K students uploaded their articles, especially the Covid-19 experience, with the help of their class teachers.

Wirenews: So, you could begin your academic year on June 1, 2020.

Anvar Sadath: Well, not in the physical form. We used the broadcast/online version of the classes through KITE VICTERS educational channel. The classes titled ‘First Bell’ are broadcasted through the channel which was telecasted Live through its Facebook page and also uploaded on YouTube channel for offline viewing. The effective implementation of the Hi-Tech projects in over 16K schools in the State by KITE  had seen the deployment of over 120K Laptops and 70K Projectors along with other ICT equipment, which are being utilised for those students who are deprived of Online/TV facility at their homes, for ensuring universal access.

Tremendous response has been received from students, parents and public on ‘First Bell’ classes. As much as 27 TB (Tera Byte) of data was downloaded in a single day through Victers website. The subscriber base of the YouTube channel has crossed over 1 Million, while over 1.65 million downloads of the Mobile App, which is continuing. In the case of certain classes, the viewership exceeded 4 million. Apart from India, the classes were also viewed by thousands of people from Middle East as well as from America and European region.

Wirenews: Something that is specific behind this success story?

Anvar Sadath: Victers's success is because of the holistic intervention we have had made in digital education. which include the program first implemented in 45K classrooms in 4,572 high schools and higher secondary schools, have then extended to 11,274 more primary & upper primary schools with "Hi-tech Labs". More than 200K teachers trained through continuous sessions.

It combines interventions at the student, teacher, classroom, school and management level. A resource portal for teachers and students (Samagrasamagra.kite.kerala.gov.in) provides access to a variety of multi-media materials, linked to the curriculum and syllabus. Many materials have been co-developed by teachers strictly adhering to the pedagogy and is used to prepare online Lesson Plans at classrooms along with supporting digital resources.

Students in schools were encouraged to form IT school clubs (Little Kites) with 2060 units covering .18 million students and engage in exploration and self-learning, forming countries largest ICT network of students. The areas of interventions include Electronics, Animation, Local Language Computing, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics & Cyber safety.

Using an educational channel Victers as medium for broadcasting educational channel from 2006 onwards. The channel is now aired 24/7 and in now available in all cable and DTH networks and Social media platforms. Students and teachers can prepare videos for the channel. 

The program features a bouquet of eGovernance applications such as school management system, a training management system, online mentoring system, School Arts Fests, Science Fairs & Sports online management, textbook supply monitoring system etc along with continuous technical support to schools for procuring and maintaining equipment and resources. Data are being regularly updated in Sametham Portal.

Teachers have been trained on use of the materials and equipment on a regular basis. The first official MOOC course for school teachers titled KOOL (KITE’s Online Open Learning-kool.kite.kerala.gov.in) helped teachers to undergo mandatory certification courses without losing instructional hours.

Strict adherence to use of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) which helped KITE to bring in world class educational software released under FOSS license and to have their own customised Operating System with all packages bundled to it. Besides saving 400 million USD, this policy helped the state to use technology in a seamless way.

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

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