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Connected Learning Initiative in four states

By The Assam Tribune

MUMBAI, Jan 27 - Around 165,000 students in 1,000 schools across India will benefit from Connected Learning Initiative (CLIx), launched by Tata Trusts, Tata Institute of Social Sciences and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The CLIx will create new learning experiences and educational opportunities for students in Classes VIII, IX and XI, begining with Mizoram, Telangana, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, said Tata Trusts chairman Ratan Tata said here on Wednesday.

The programme will offer content in English and regional languages, begining with Hindi and Telugu, and curricula in English, Science, Maths and professional values, besides focusing on professional development for around 4,400 teachers in these four states, he said.

"Indian education is at a crossroads: With large numbers of students entering secondary education for the first time in Indian education history, and new advances in technology and connectivity, we have a unique opportunity to provide quality education," Tata said.

For this, he added, Tata Trusts have initiated partnerships with the finest institutions globally to find innovative solutions to pressing social issues in India.

Present on the occasion were TISS Director S. Parasuraman, MIT President L. Rafael Reif, officials of the four states and Human Resource Development Ministry.

Explaining CLIx, Tata said it would align technology-integrated offerings with existing school curricula and would be in sync with India's national goal of improving the quality of secondary education.

"The initiative intends to leverage new technologies; enhance professional development of teachers; and create an open ecosystem to foster collaboration for innovation," Tata said.

CLIx took roots after Tata's visit to MIT several years ago when Reif and others from MIT's Office of Digital Learning described edX - an online-learning platform launched jointly by MIT and Harvard University to offer university-level coursework to learners worldwide.

"At MIT, we believe online learning technologies can offer teachers and learners everywhere the tools to transform the educational experience by engaging students in active learning that stimulates their curiosity, makes every lesson more memorable, and helps build skills relevant to students' experiences," Reif said.

He said CLIx was the most ambitious effort to date to put these ideas into practice for quality learning for all.

CLIx will offer young people, especially from lower- and middle-income rural areas of India, access to interactive, hands-on learning experiences to advance their knowledge and skills, and to instill values to help them succeed as professionals and citizens, with a focus on cultivating students' sense of professionalism.

CLIx's instruction is largely interactive and hands-on, making it a valuable complement to the education currently offered in India's secondary schools. It augments the existing curriculum in grades 8, 9, and 11, so that it does not interfere with the all-important Board Exams that Indian students take in grades 10 and 12.

"The scale proposed and the effort to reach and connect with rural and semi-rural schools using Indian languages makes CLIx a unique initiative. Indian education needs scalable solutions to improve quality education for the large cohort of youth who are first generation school goers," Parasuraman said. - IANS

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