In the later part of this year, at the UN Summit 2010 on Millennium Development Goals, the Prime Minister of India announced India’s progress in achieving ‘Education for All’. India has not only been able to ensure primary education for all children in the country, but has also recorded a100% retention of all school-going children not only in primary schooling but also for the secondary level. The Prime Minister pointed out that this achievement has been possible though sustained efforts by the government, global assistance, and collaboration with private sector and the civil society.
This year the government has recorded 100% Internet coverage of all secondary schools in the country. This initiative, a part of flagship programme of ‘nostudent- isolated’ programme, had received a remarkable support from the private sector connectivity and ISP providers who had come forward with a ‘low cost high coverage model’. Support from the government in the way of relaxing regulations and the opening up of a massive internal market for the private sector players has resulted in a surge in investment in rural connectivity. The government is planning to extend Internet connectivity to all primary schools by 2013.
This year saw the ‘Networked Teachers Consortium (NTCI) of India’ surging ahead with the education reform programme. Earlier this year, NTCI representatives at the global meet of ’21st Centuary Teachers’ received commitment of support from over 100 countries around the world for ‘global collaboration for education for knowledge society’ agenda. This was yet another laurel for the NTCI (this year, NTCI has added yet another 30 thousand teachers as member to its already hundred thousand strong membership). This has been leading the education reform process in India and the online (and offline) knowledge sharing and networking among teachers for professional development, and improving the outcomes of ICT-enabled teaching and learning in school.
The students-led research programme ‘Local Environment Monitor’, initiated in 2007 by five government schools of Uttaranchal, has grown in the last two years to a national initiative with over thirty thousand schools (both private and government) across the country, collaborating and sharing results through the Internet. This student-led initiative that has build a student network across the country to monitor the local environment (bio-indicators of atmospheric change, pollution, deforestation, etc.) has received a tremendous support from the professional scientific community. This year, students expanded their network to collaborate with similar networks in Asia and Europe.
2010 was a good year for India as the country readies itself to lead the global knowledge society.