New Delhi: Leading education corporate Career Launcher shall commercially start its VSAT-enabled distance education services for the school segment from the coming academic session in April 2003.
HCL Comnet, the leading IT services marketing firm, is the technology partner in the exercise, enabling effective online distance education through VSATs.
The announcement was made by Career Launcher's chairman, Satya Narayanan, following the successful completion of a weeklong VSAT-driven pilot project involving students and teachers. The project was the culmination of three years of academic and technological research and development by Intel Capital-funded Career Launcher.
As part of the pilot project, lectures were provided in biology, chemistry, maths and physics, beamed from HCL Comnet's studio in Noida to Laxman Public School and St Thomas School in New Delhi. The lectures by Career Launcher faculty were received at the schools at predetermined time slots, synchronously with return audio channel, addressing a class of up to 70 students.
Says S Barathy, VP (technology), HCL Comnet: ''At HCL Comnet we have been pioneers of VSAT technology. This pilot project for schools reinforces HCL Comnet's focus in the education sector. The successful implementation of this project substantiates our innovation with technology and our endeavour to provide the best and the most cost-effective value propositions to our customers.''
Adds Narayanan: ''We have, from our inception in 1995, used technology to leverage our brick-and-mortar strengths. With the use of cutting-edge educational technologies, Career Launcher is now ready to service a far larger and diverse student population than its present strength of 10,000 plus, spread over 32 cities in India and the Gulf. Happily, this technology will help bring down the cost of education for every household.
''The choice of technology depends on the academic need of the students. So while explanation of diagram and illustration-backed concepts could require VSAT services, problem solutions, which do not require the faculty to be seen by the students, could be easily tackled through the Internet. One will need a combination of educational technologies.''
Career Launcher's VSAT-enabled services shall help students do better both at their board exams and entrance tests for engineering, medicine, BBA, BCA, fashion technology, hotel management, law, SAT GRE and other competitive courses. Teachers, too, stand to enhance their skills.
Says Laxman Public School principal Usha Ram: ''The project, especially the Exam Help Line, benefited our students immensely. From the coming academic year, we would like to run the Career Launcher programme throughout the session.'' Several other schools have approached Career Launcher for its technology-enabled services.
Career Launcher has opted for a multi-technology approach to provide quality education by expert faculty in far-flung areas. The company has already tied up with Silicon Valley-based corporate Interwise to train students using the Internet with voice over Internet protocol (VoIP). It deployed this technology successfully in its analysis of the Common Admission Test (CAT) and XLRI entrance exam, among others.