Kerala education sector goes e-way, plans digital textbooks

Thiruvanantapuram: In a major initiative that may revolutionize the general education sector, Kerala is all set to introduce multi-media "Digital Collaborative Textbooks" (DCT), the first of its kind in the country, in government schools.

This digital textbook will comprise information contributed by persons around the globe in audio or video formats, besides the scanned soft-copy of normal textbooks.

The state government has decided to launch the DCTs in government schools on an experimental basis from next academic year starting in June, A Shahjahan, Secretary, Department of General Education told.

Students and teachers can access the DCTs with the support of tablets and e-learning centres set up at schools. IT@School, under the state General Education Department,is planning to formally launch the "digital collaborative textbooks" early next month.

"The digital collaborative textbooks are definitely a significant step in the education sector of the country. We are planning to formally launch the DCTs next month," Shahjahan said. A senior official of IT@School said Kerala is the first state to introduce this kind of multi-media textbooks.

"At the normal level, the DCTs are e-books in which ordinary textbooks are scanned and uploaded. But, a plethora of information, contributed by different people including experts in different subjects make them unique," IT@School Executive Director K P Noufal told PTI.

He said over 3.7 million students and about more than two lakh teachers in the state-run schools are expected to benefit from the the ambitious project. The department was also ready to share digital textbook model with private schools also which follow state syllabus. But, they should provide hardware and other supporting facilities to get the access, he said.
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