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Last updated: 09.08.12

E-learning in India helping visually-impaired students

An e-learning course is helping to deliver education to blind and visually-impaired learners. DNA India reports that Satish Navale, a research student, conceptualised the virtual learning environment. The scheme will commence in Kolhapur this year and was recently inaugurated at the University of Pune's physics department by scientist Vijay Bhatkar. It is hoped the e-learning project will help students with vision problems to become more self-reliant in their education and bring them up to the levels of learners without disabilities. So far, eight boys and ten girls have enrolled on the course, which will focus on fundamental subjects such as maths, computing, science and English. It will also involve home science lessons, such as those analysing how to grow vegetables, enabling people to become self-reliant. Mr Navale explained the e-learning development should help people who cannot see very well to attain better exam results. He told the publication that visually-challenged children must currently depend upon a writer to fill in their test papers and a reader to tell them what questions they must answer. "They miss out on scoring good marks," the e-learning course developer remarked. Mr Navale also pointed out that the curriculum these individuals participate in is different to that undertaken by those students in normal classroom education. E-learning should improve their attainment and "give them a chance to be part of the mainstream society", he declared. The digital learning course specialist asked for donors to "step forward and contribute to this project", noting the e-learning project costs Rs two lakh (£2,300) every year. Pune is not the only area of India to be benefiting from the emergence of innovative educational movements, with Bangalore recently highlighted by Express News Service as a key region for the growth of online learning courses. It explained that many teenagers use digital technologies to communicate with each other and study.