Virtual classroom teaching is set to compensate for the dearth of teachers in various state engineering colleges and government polytechnic institutes.
The department of science and technology has decided to introduce the concept of virtual classrooms connecting the seven state engineering and polytechnic colleges with the Indira Gandhi Science Complex.
As part of the concept, eminent guest faculty from Birla Institute of Technology (BIT), Patna, would deliver lectures, which would be beamed directly at the engineering colleges. The facility would provide two-way interaction with students asking questions sitting in their respective institutions.
The students, the beneficiaries of the concept, sounded excited. Ankit Sharma, a mechanical engineering student of Gaya College of Engineering, said: “The e-learning tools as well as satellite TV services are good concepts to address the dearth of qualified teaching staff, which is proving to be the biggest challenge for educational institutions. There is an immense scope for virtual learning tool.”
The biggest advantage of virtual classrooms is that students from state engineering colleges will benefit from lectures by teachers from eminent institutions.
Sanjay Kumar Sinha, a teacher at National Institute of Technology, Patna, said: “More than 60 per cent teachers’ posts are vacant in the state engineering colleges. Some departments such as the civil engineering in our institute runs with just one or two teachers, forcing the college to depend on external faculty (retired teachers or research scholars) for taking classes.”
Echoing him, Anil Kumar, the principal of Gaya College of Engineering, said: “We have only seven permanent teachers against the 64 vacancies. We have to depend on external faculty for taking classes.”
Jay Prakash Singh, the project director of Bihar Council of Science and Technology, which monitors the Indira Gandhi Science Complex, said: “The Indira Gandhi Science Complex, which is being developed as an eduset hub, would hold virtual classrooms connecting state engineering colleges and polytechnic colleges with the science complex.”
The hub is likely to debut in November, for which the department has tied up with BIT (Patna).
To speed up the process, the state engineering colleges and polytechnic institutes have already been equipped with the facility of holding virtual classes, setting up satellite interactive terminal (SIT). All engineering colleges, which would be developed as SIT, would have a room with a broadband connection, a webcam, an electronic blackboard and microphones so that students can interact with the teachers, who deliver the lectures.