Rotary Distance Education Program (RDEP)
An ambitious project of Rotary District 3131
Project initiated by Rtn. Pramod Jejurikar District Governor 2010-11,
District 3131, Pune, India
Email: Pramodjejurikar@yahoo.com Cell: 99224 29475
This Project was developed through the inspiration given by RIP Rtn. Kalyan Banerjee, during his visit to Pune on 12th December 2010 & dedicated to him on 4th July 2011 at Pune in honor of his year as RI President for 2011-12.
Introduction of the Project:
This is a success story of a wonderful project implemented by Rotary International District 3131 for providing quality education at affordable cost through Rotary Distance Education Program. (RDEP).
All of us agree that it is not possible for Government to provide basic infrastructure and schools at all places. Even in the existing schools there are no enough teachers, black boards, benches for children. The world has realized that the Distance Education is the only solution to provide quality education at affordable cost. The online education, use of technology, IT tools, and Broad Band facility are the powerful tools to provide education at remote places.
Under this project, Rotary Clubs installs one RDEP center in each needy school. The center consists of one PC, LCD projector and Educational software designed to provide education from 1st to 10th standard. This software is multilingual and at present available in English and Marathi languages.
How the RDEP works.
- The Rotary club chooses the school to establish the RDEP e learning center.
- The school provides room, benches etc. which is converted into an audio-visual lab.
- The Rotary Distance Education team installs the RDEP center with one computer set, LCD projector or TV & other electrical accessories. At this school. The computer is installed with the educational software which matches with the school syllabus.
- The Program monitor is appointed by the school that is trained by Rotary to operate the software.
- The Rotary club appoints the co coordinator from the club to supervise the project.
Cost of the installation:
The Approx cost of one RDEP center is around Rs. 68,000/- which includes one PC,LCD Projector & software . The cost can be reduced by about 15000/- if LCD TV is used instead of LCD projector for a smaller room for about 25/30 students.
Out of the above cost, 1/3rd cost is to be paid by the school & the 2/3rd is funded by Rotary club & the Rotary District. The total cost varies as per the facilities already available at the school.
Number of Schools completed:
Up till now, Rotary has installed such RDEP centers in more than 200 schools in Pune & Raigad Districts of Maharashtra. About 1,25,000 students are provided education through this program. One hundred teachers have been trained as Program Monitors to implement this program in schools. The total investment in the project by schools, Rotary Clubs & Rotary District is more than Rs.125 Lakhs. The district has initiated one global grant of about USD 40,000/- for this project with Rotary Club in USA. The rest of the money is funded from schools, personal Donations & Rotary club & District grants as explained above.
The Advantages of Rotary Distance Education Program:
- Each lesson in the school is taught by best method.
- All the lessons can be repeated any number of times.
- Examination/Tests are conducted with innovative methods and with use of animations. This creates great interest among the students.
- Evening classes are also run for school drop outs or for working children who cannot attend the day schools.
- Best teaching facilities are now available at remote places.
- The teachers can use this software for self learning
- Now with this RDEP, the students who never use to attend schools daily on one reason or the other are now attending the schools even on Sundays on their own due to interest created by these new teaching methods.
The clubs and the schools have developed enormous interests in this project and there are literally hundreds of teachers and students are visiting our Rotary RDEP centers to see this new concept.
IT companies, Rotarians with IT and educational background, Rotary clubs and the District RDEP team are working together for the success of this project. This project is sustainable, its impact is measurable and it relates to Rotary’s thrust area of focus i.e. “Basic Education and Literacy”
The entire set up is maintained by a professional company with three years of annual maintenance contract. The cost of first 3 years in included in the package. The software is upgraded periodically to keep pace with the changing in syllabus.
Additional Facilities :
In addition to regular teaching program, the students are provided many other software programs relating to personality development, educational games, aptitude tests etc.
Basic Literacy program:
In addition to above school software , Rotary is also providing excellent software developed for totally illiterate people to develop reading their skills. They attend the school in the evening & develop the reading ability. Thousands of illiterate people can develop reading abilities through this program. A reputed company TCS has provided this software.
The Rotary will expand this program in next 3 years covering more than 400 schools depending upon availability of funds. We will start the second phase from 1st of July 2011. We wish to conduct a big seminar on Distance Education on 5th September 2011 to mark the Teachers Day. In the third phase all these schools will be net worked with 3G technology to run additional on line programs.
Reactions about RDEP
Views expressed by students, teachers & various people about Rotary Distance Education Program
- We have no enough teachers in our school. This Rotary Distance Education Program is helpful to us to continue teaching with the help of this software.
- The Rotary Distance program is useful for rural areas where there are no enough teachers in the school.
- The students can learn any lesson ,any number of times with this Rotary Program
- We are going to use this Rotary Distance program to run a school in the evening for drop out students & children who cannot attend school in day time.
- The lessons in the software exactly match with regular syllabus so it is more useful to our students
- Our village is a small place & we have no coaching class facility in our area so this Rotary Distance education facility helps us to conduct special extra classes in the evening
- Our teachers also learn from the Rotary Distance Education package about new methods about teaching.
- The RDEP program is getting tremendous response from the schools & we are excited to see such a demand
- This is real Rotary project which creates maximum PR in the community
- The Rotary Distance education Program caters the needs of community about basic Education & Literacy.
- The project is sustainable & its outcome is measurable.
- The IT Companies, Rotary Clubs , Educational Institutes & Rotarians all have come together in this Distance education project & it’s a perfect example of working together for a common cause
- The Rotary Distance education program is making bigger impact on the community
- The distance e3ducation can provide quality education at affordable cost.
- The Rotary Distance Education Program is a perfect example of how technology & IT tools can be used for rural upliftment. & to take quality education at remote places.