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Nearly 500 Blind Teachers in Kerala to be trained in various facets of Information and Communication Technology

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Hi-Tech School programme in Kerala, Wikimedia.
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Kerala, May 29, 2017: Close to 500 blind teachers in Kerala would be trained in the various facets of Information and Communication Technology, to help them to handle their subjects effectively using technology, in a month’s time said a official of the state’s IT@School Project.

This will be done under the project as part of implementing the Hi-Tech School programme in the state, said project chief K. Anvar Sadath.

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By now more than a lakh teachers in the state-run schools have been trained under it.

Earlier in 2011, IT@School had imparted basic IT training for all blind teachers in the state, and received special appreciation from Union Human Resource Development Ministry.

With the completion of the current training, Kerala would become the first state in the country to have trained all visually challenged teachers in ICT, which focuses on the possibilities of ICT in education, rather than a mere training on computers.

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“The training for the regular teachers emphasise on specific subject wise content, developed entirely on free and open source software platform. The accessibility gaps of the software used for such training are assessed and then new customised packages are being incorporated, for the benefit of the visually challenged teachers,” said Sadath.

The specific training includes activities such as preparation of documents and presentations which would assist in classroom teaching of every teacher, language computing, digital content collection from internet and their legal aspects, audio recording and video editing. The educational applications which are used for the regular training are customised for the benefit of the visually challenged teachers.

“The joy goes up to its peak now as we are learning to apply it in our class rooms. It’s like we are getting our eyes back,” said thrilled learner Sebastian, who is almost fully blind and works as a teacher in a state-run school in Ernakulam district. (IANS)

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Northern Kerala to Soon Emerge as Major Tourist Attraction

The department has pumped in almost Rs 500 crore in the area for tourism and infrastructure development

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Northern Kerala to Soon Emerge as Major Tourist Attraction
Northern Kerala to Soon Emerge as Major Tourist Attraction. IANS

Are Kovalam and backwaters the first things that come to mind when thinking of Kerala? All that’s set to change as more places will soon be added to the bucket list from ‘God’s own country’ — at an outlay of Rs 500 crore.

The Kerala Tourism Department is taking new initiatives and expanding its horizons, not just in the southern belt but also the northern zone with new “must visit” destinations.

“Kerala has seen a strong tourism sector since two decades and we have been doing well domestically and internationally.

“We are starting new destinations in different geographical areas. We are widening our canvas and including new destinations,” P. Bala Kiran, Director, Kerala Tourism told IANS.

He added that the northern parts of the state like Wayanad, Kannur, Kozhikode, Thissur, Malapuram and Palakad are on the list of new tourism destinations.

“This will be a separate circuit which will be complementing the existing tourism circuit in south Kerala,” Kiran stated.

Representational image.
Representational image. Pixabay

While the peak season for visiting the state is mainly November to February, the Tourism Department is also chalking out plans to attract tourists round the year.

And for that, the department has pumped in almost Rs 500 crore in the area for tourism and infrastructure development.

“We are also planning out new ventures like introducing river cruise facility in Malabar, making a Kameshwari heritage project, Jatayu Earth Centre which will feature world’s largest bird sculpture and offering plethora of adventure and rejuvenating activities and others,” Bala noted.

The department is also focusing on alluring young tourists by offering multiple adventure activities — water-based sports like river rafting and kayaking as also trekking, paragliding.

Recently, Kerala also bagged ‘Best destination for families’ award through an online poll which was conducted by Lonely Planet magazine.

Bala added in the past one year, Kerala has witnessed tremendous growth in tourist arrivals — both domestic and internatinal.

Also Read: Infosys Donates Rs 2.50cr To A Hospital in Kerala

“In 2017 we had 1.09 million international tourists and 14.6 million domestic tourists which is roughly translating into a growth of 11 per cent in the last year,” he added.

Asked about the major challenges being faced by the Tourism Department, Bala pointed out that ensuring safety and security of tourists were the first priority followed by providing world class amenities to the visitors and streamlining the waste management system.

“Kerala government is setting up a Tourism Regulatory Authority which will be a statutory body with full legal powers to intervene and execute orders whenever there are complaints on tourist-related activities,” Bala noted. (IANS)