Education in Meghalaya goes hi-tech

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Shillong, Jun 30 (UNI) Education in Meghalaya today goes hi-tech with the launching of satellite-based educational facilities aimed at enhancing the knowledge base of students.

Higher and Technical Education minister Manas Chaudhuri inaugurated the Edusat network in the state.

The Edusat, a dedicated satellite for education, was launched by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in September 2004.

Edusat was introduced in March 2005 with the launching of a primary education project in Chamarajanagar district of Karnataka and subsequently was extended to different parts of the country.

Meghalaya is the second state among the North Eastern states after Tripura to have sattelite-based educational facilities.

The Shillong based Northeastern Space Application Centre (NESAC) is coordinating with ISRO to introduce the Edusat scheme in northeast India.

'' This high-tech initiative will act as an instrument of social change by altering the human perspective and transforming the traditional mindset of the teacher and students in particular and the community at large,'' Mr Chaudhuri said.

The Education Minister also exuded confidence that launching of Edusat will reduce the high dropout rate among the students and improve the teachers in teaching skills.

Echoing Mr Chaudhuri, NESAC Director Dr P P Nageshwara Rao said educational curriculum through satellite would reach simultaneously in most of the semi-urban, interior and inaccessible hilly areas of the northeast through video-conferencing.

There would be a hub and a studio in each state capital and a maximum of 500 Satellite Interactive Terminals (SITs) set up in different schools to be linked to the hub.

Indian Space Research Organisation Director of Development of Educational Communication Unit, K S Dasgupta said the launching of Edusat would reduce the dropout rate among school students in the region, besides helping teachers to enhance their knowledge base.

'' With this, the diffucult and far flung terrain will no longer be a barrier as far as the distant education through satellite is concerned,'' he said Mr Das also urged the Meghalaya government to utilise and maintain the system for the advantage of the students as well as the teachers.

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