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Amid frequent school closure, private schools take lead

Amid frequent school closure, private schools take lead
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Software giants roped in to introduce home based online classes Software giant's roped in to introduce home based online classes

Srinagar: While the J&K government is ordering frequent closure of schools in Kashmir, the Private Schools Association Kashmir (PSAK) has taken a step ahead to transform traditional four walls of classroom to a ‘connected learning community’.

The association has roped in ‘Microsoft Company, Tech Avant and Efee online’ companies for their technical support to introduce IT based learning classes in schools from KG classes to 12th. The new initiative will be started in private schools from next academic session.

President PSAK G N Var who was accompanied by CEO Tech Avant Gard, Ali Sait said the association will submit the proposal to government for its introduction in government schools as well.

“Even if they won’t introduce this system in government schools, we will still go ahead with it in all private schools,” Var said while addressing a press conference here.

He said the initiative has been taken to avoid academic loses in schools due to frequent closure of all schools in Kashmir due to government order or shutdown calls.

“This IT enabled solutions in educational institutes of Kashmir will bring a major education reforms in schools and will also counter closure of schools besides increasing working days,” president PSAK said.

Var said PSAK has entered into a partnership with Tech Avant-Garde, Microsoft and Efee online and has adopted the MASP PRO Program to empower teachers and students.

G N Var said the school teachers and students will be given free software of office Pro and 0365 for home usage, which is worth Rs 25000.

“Schools will bear 80 percent cost of the software and students will be charged only Rs 2000 per year that too in monthly installments,” Var said.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tech Avant Gard, Ali Sait in his address to media stated that company will provide all technological and software support to private schools and provide apps to the students and teachers as well.

“The schools need to have hardware to start this initiative. Each school will be charged with Rs  25000 for software. We will also train teachers of the schools as well,” Sait said.

He said the company is already connected with 15 states of India wherein students and teachers remain connected 24×7 with online home bases classes. He said students are given assignments through Microsoft online applications.

CEO Avant said even if the government suspends internet in Kashmir, the software will work through Edu Net- the private internet facility.

“Edu-Net is private internet and is related to education services only. It will work without the normal internet services,” he said.

Meanwhile, Var said that restrictions, curfews and violent situations have become part of day to day life in Kashmir.

“In this situation education sector is worst affected. We are unable to provide quality education to students as our schools get closed even at a small pretext. At times we cannot even operate buses due to fear of violence,” said Var.

He said during the last decade the association gave in efforts to give quality education to students but all that is threatening to get derailed due to the prevailing circumstances.

“It is in this regard we are trying to use IT enabled services to counter frequent closure of schools,” he said.

G N Var said the service would not only counter closure of schools but also provide global quality education to students.

“We are living in a conflict zone that we cannot help. But what we are trying to do is to isolate education sector in a way that it remains largely unaffected,” he said.

“IT enabled services offer the best solution. But here too we need government help as some services work on dependable internet connections,” he said, adding that the government should allow educational websites functions smoothly even in the times of internet blockade.

“We will provide the list of websites to government too which need to be free from blockades or if they are willing to offer any other alternative we are ready to listen,” he said.


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