Feb 5, 2007

Grid Computing Funda For Education?

Of late, there is a lot getting published on the sad state of Primary Education in India, how neglected it is, yet how it holds the key to India's future growth etc. The Economist argues in its latest lead/cover article that unless major supply side constraints like Primary Education are not solved, increasing demand in the fast growing Indian economy will lead to overheating and even a meltdown.

However what has now set me thinking impromptu is this post by Shekhar Kapur on primary education. How about starting a network that taps the computer that exists in each of our brains. Kind of like the fancied grid-computing concept in computer technology? A grid of people, who will visit villages or slums to teach for half a day on weekends and holidays.

So what do we need to get this going?
  • A team of half a dozen dedicated folks interested in teaching part-time.
  • Algorithms to form virtual classes attaching teachers to specific villages and classes. Meet 'supply' of teachers (time slices) with 'demand' from the needy children leveraging technology.
  • Course material (follow the 'prescribed syllabus of the regular school' or enhance it) or leverage some of the e-Learning material CDs that are developed
  • Ideas on deploying technology (some old computers, some CDs with good material). One could later on leverage satellite communications to download study material real time or have some 'remote classes' during evenings of weekdays.
The IT industry is 1 million strong and using some 'Chinese Math', 1% of this million will mean 10,000 teachers. Even 1% of this 1% ~ about 100 teachers and will take this idea well past its critical mass.

6 comments:

Soleilmavis said...

Nice blog

Techoralbia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
technorabilia said...

intresting....
yes primary education is one of the most important aspects of a students lif....the concept is pretty intresting...And i m sure there r ppl who re intrested in teaching part time...
now that indina animation industry is growin we can educate ppl with the help of cartoons

Ram Medury said...

Technorabilia, your comment on using animation for primary education is innovative. Interest levels could actually increase if animation and humour are leveraged.

Technorabilia said...

Once the Indian animation industry grows up ...I am sure that with the partnership between Govt,Tech companies We will have animations through which people can learn education ,civic sense and a lot more ....Already most of the villages that are well to do have t.v's and if we can provide custom specific content to each village there would be a tremendous revolution of knowledge as the dialect and language used would same as their's and help in better understanding not of only surroundings but also of the outside...It would also be great if the villagers were to develop their own content...which can be made possible by tech company partnerships if they can provide the villagers with simple tools and train them in these tools.......

Ram Medury said...

Technorabilia, let us keep the government out of this. Whatever good has happened recently in India has been inspite of the govt. Yesterday's Indian Express editorial by C Jayanthi (was not at all impressed) writes about our govt's own version of One-laptop-per-child (OLPC) project costing $10! Was aghast at the idea!
Back to your idea, once a decent foundation of primary education is established, anything is possible in our country!
-Ram