Railway Stations as Classrooms

railwaysThe Indian railways has more than 1.5 lakh hecactre of land throughout the country. It is present in every corner of the nation. Taking advantage of the pan Indian strategic presence of the railways, IGNOU has entered into an understanding for establishing its long distance classrooms. It sounds great. But the implementation should be done with minimal problems.

According to the Hindustan Times, 20.2.2009, p.,

The next time you see people rushing towards a railway station, many of them may not be catching a train. They could be distance-learning students unwilling to bunk classes.

In association with the government-owned Railtel Corporation of India Ltd, the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) has decided to set up study centres at 3,000 railway stations.

IGNOU will utilise Railtel’s high-speed optical fibre cable (OFC) network to provide educational content. At these virtual colleges, students will interact with teachers through  the university’s distance learning modules and online tests.

“We had a meeting with Railtel  where both IGNOU and Railtel decided to go ahead with the project,” said Professor V N Rajasekharan Pillai, vice chancellor, IGNOU. “Hopefully by June 2009, our study centres will be ready at many railway stations.”

The idea is to take IGNOU to the interiors of the country. “We are looking at setting up study centres at railway stations in rural areas, apart from tier II and tier III cities.”

Railtel, which has laid about 30,000 km of OFC network, is equally enthusiastic. “We have offered land, bandwidth and data centres to IGNOU,” said Railtel managing director SK Vasistha.


1 Comment

  1. TeacherJay said,

    +00002009-02-20T08:30:37+00:00282009bUTCFri, 20 Feb 2009 08:30:37 +0000 2, 2008 at 7.27 p02

    This is great idea! I was in India a few months ago and marveled at the extensive train network. I recall passing by many small towns and villages that seemed to have little infrastructure or resources, but they did have a train station. This looks like a great way to spread access not to just to education, but to the internet as well.

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