Information and technology revolution has had a remarkable impact on the lives of people in the 21st century. It has impacted all the sectors which is the core focus area of Innovative Financial Advisors Pvt. Ltd. Till date IT has proven beneficial for the education sector to some extent. The inequality of opportunities in the education sector is worst in India. Besides regional disparities, there are glowing instances where the fruits of education have been denied on basis of caste, gender, religion, cultural and socio-economic parameters. Despite government initiatives, literacy still remains confined to limited section of society. Since education has a symbiotic relationship with development and progress of a nation it is imperative to mainstream all its citizens into common agenda and progress towards a greater goal and realize its true potential.
Teachings by hands on training have been found to be the most efficient tool for all ages both in the formal and non formal center. Children are always eager to learn and explore new body of knowledge. They learn quickly and are able to comprehend and mitigate problems when they are able to do things themselves. This particular trait is explored and exploited through the experiment ‘Hole in the Wall’ conceived by Sugata Mitra who has been appreciated for innovative usage of technology since its inception in 1999.
A computer was placed literally in a ‘hole in the wall’ of the NIIT premises in Kalkaji, New Delhi. Soon the children from the adjoining slums began to access it and deployed their own trial and error method in understanding the working of the computer. Some of the children learnt basic English so that they could us the keyboard. Dr. Mitra using his network in UK managed to inspire a group of volunteers usually retired grandparents who communicated with these children via Skpe. It was observed that these children were able to communicate with these Cloud Grannys in a far more effective way than anticipated. It was evident that the apparent gap between the so called affluent class and others are getting narrower to some extent. Dr. Mitra opined that there might be a time in the near future where there would be classrooms sans teachers or for that matter effective teaching sans the traditional boundary of a classroom.
The projects designed by the team at Innovative Financial Advisors Pvt. Ltd might incorporate these new strategies while designing projects for the development sector organisations which will not only increase the outreach of the project but will also bring down the expenses substantially. Hole in the Wall designs can be executed specifically in the areas where there is dearth of trained personnel. Quality training can be imparted from an urban center using web technology to people living off in remote area. Since children are enthusiastic learners, other web tools can be utilized for their learning process and will impact the nation’s progress in the long run.
By: Rupa Chatterjee
Programme Manager – Education
Grant me thirty years of equal division of inheritances and a free press, and I will provide you with a republic. – Alexis de Tocqueville
A free press is crucial for a functional democracy, and if not truly free, paves the way for manipulation undermining the premise of democracy itself. “With great power comes greater responsibility,” responsibility of bringing out the truth in front of the people. Press in India is considered to be the fourth pillar of the world largest democracy after Judiciary, Legislation and Executive. However, Reporters Without Borders placed India as the 140th out of 180 countries that was surveyed for the level of free speech. The Constitution of India does not distinctively mention the freedom of press but it is implied from the Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution which subjects to the following restrictions that are provided under the Article 19(2) of the Constitution:
May 3rd is celebrated as World Press Freedom Day which is aimed to remind the governments of their duty to respect and uphold the right of freedom of expression under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The UNESCO every year confers the Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize in honour of the Columbian journalist who was assassinated in front of the office premises of his newspaper, EL Espectador on 17th December 1986. Any individual or organization that has made outstanding contribution to the defence and/or promotion of press freedom, especially, after facing danger while doing so is awarded with the prize.
The theme for this year is “Media Freedom for a Better Future: Shaping the post-2015 Development Agenda.” It focuses on the media’s importance in development; the safety of journalists and the rule of law; and the sustainability and integrity of journalism. An international conference will be held at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on 5-6 May.
As per Innovative Financial Advisors Pvt. Ltd. the role of media in development and good governance are not mutually exclusive, rather they support each other while promoting a nations socio-economic development. Free press is important for good governance and transparency. Innovative Financial Advisors Pvt. Ltd. believes that independent media provides a platform for discussion on various developmental issues like poverty, environment, science, gender, youth, peace etc. Free press can be utilized to monitor, investigate and criticize policies of any nation. A society that has access to public documents and processes can highlight the conflict of interests and empower its citizens to hold accountable the elected representatives. Media plays a crucial role in creation of society where everyone’s voice is heard and everyone is empowered. The World Press Freedom Day is provides an opportunity to deepen our understanding about the role of media and post-2015 development agenda.
“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference, and impart information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers”
Innovative Financial Advisors Pvt. Ltd. – Media Team