Pune: Santosh Talaghatti, a Pune-based entrepreneur and change management consultant has been working with the government to create global classrooms in rural schools. Utilising ‘Technology in Service of Education’ as the motto of his start-up ‘eLMNOP’ (eLearning Media Network of Professionals), he wants to connect at least one lakh rural schools on a digital learning platform.
In the last 18 months, eLMNOP has connected more than 1,000 schools in rural areas. “Earlier, I trained school teachers to use technology, in collaboration with ICT. However, I realised that training teachers wasn’t enough. To bring a real revolution in education, there is a need to empower students and equip them with technology and global knowledge,” Talaghatti said.
This is what led to the setting up of global classrooms at schools. Maharashtra was chosen for running the project on a pilot basis. Talaghatti said, “As we set up our first global classrooms at schools, we saw children opening up to knowledge as never before. We set up video conferencing tools, and organised sessions by subject experts, which inculcated interest for learning in the students. In Pune, we have a school in Sutarwadi and a couple in Mulshi taluka where we have set up well-equipped global classrooms.”
The project is also on in West Bengal, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh. The global classroom project bridges the gap between rural and urban schools, with focus on skill-oriented training. “We adopted the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Model), and also emphasised on value education. The students are also provided with practical knowledge on how to be safe against cyber crimes,” Talaghatti said.
Talaghatti said he plans to upgrade all Zilla Parishad (ZP) schools to mobile-based technology. This will bring students and teachers at par with international and private schools. While the classrooms are connected with broadband and mobile Internet, the entrepreneur aims at connecting the classes with satellite-based Internet some day. The start-up has conducted workshops for 10,000 teachers across the country.
“At our global classrooms, we have subject experts from from all over the world, including more than 500 Indians residing in Europe, Australia and US. We have many Pune-based professionals working with us,” Talaghatti said.