Digitalizing Education

Britain's Capita group has arrived in India with its SIMS technology offering which claims to connect  students in far-flung areas seamlessly. The company believes that Indian market is too fertile for its cutting-edge product. Rama Sinha <
Digitalizing Education

When it comes to catering to the rural poor, the Indian education system continues to be plagued with a host of teething  problems. Even though the number of students in the village schools is  rising, a host of surveys and studies clearly earmark the fact that the level of understanding subjects like maths and reading are  declining. Nothing surprising that the quality and access to education in rural schools has emerged as a serious concern. However, the emergence of digital technology as a tool to impart quality education in distant corners is one possible solution to fix the gap on rural education front in a country like India.

There is no gainsaying that digital technology is  omnipresent and almost omniscient today.  It is now common to observe children using digital tools even much before they embark on their formal schooling. A fundamental paradigm shift has taken place as the modern children are growing up in an age where technology and connected devices are readily available. This is gradually percolating down to village life too where the students may not have proper access to the technology but they are certainly aware of the array of software available in the market. Several studies suggest a link between usage of digital equipment and distraction, aggression and depression among the children.  But the fact of the matter is: there are plenty of global examples to suggest that digital technology is a viable option to connect the students in rural pockets.

Some of the best schools around the world have realized it and are using technology in a way that helps the parents, teachers and children to collaborate in a productive  way leaving enough time for outdoor activities, reading books and participating in cultural and sports activities. And in this space,  Britain’s Capita SIMS Technology has emerged as a formidable name as it helps in  creating a collaborative platform of learning-making the child, parents and teachers accountable in the process of learning.  Going by the market buzz, this is one of the most innovative software designed for primary and secondary schools and academics to be able to manage staff and student information.

Capita recently started offering software services to Indian schools. The company claims that  with the help of its SIMS solution, parents and teachers can track the academic and behavioral pattern of the pupil. It also keeps a record of child’s medical history. Recently Graham Cooper, Head of Product strategy, Capita was in New Delhi and in a conversation with  R&M,  he specified the broader objectives of the firm in India. Capita would be  targeting  to expand its business to over 20,000 schools in about next five years.  According to Cooper, Capita’s software offering is as user friendly as Microsoft Office products and it assures help and assistance to schools in smooth transition of data.

But all said and done, it remains to be seen how fast this advanced technology reaches the schools of rural India or even Tier2 and Tier 3 cities where Nav Bharat Nirman is in the offing. Millions of students from rural areas come to the bigger cities and schools for better education, and with the help of this technology the mushrooming schools and technical colleges can even counsel/woo the parents for taking admission to their colleges and schools.

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