LifeLines Education goes toll-free in Rajasthan
The Government of Rajasthan has signed a memorandum of understanding with UNICEF and OneWorld Foundation India to scale up the LifeLines Education service across the state. Teachers and students across 33 districts can now find quicker and informative resolution of academic queries on a toll-free number.
Jaipur: LifeLines Education, the innovative teacher support helpline serving near 12000 teachers in Udaipur, has now been scaled up as a toll-free service to the entire state of Rajasthan. The decision to make the service toll-free follows the demand from teachers who have been requesting for a wider reach of LifeLines for the benefit of more teachers in the state. The scale up came into effect with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) yesterday between the collaborating partners who include the Government of Rajasthan, UNICEF and OneWorld Foundation India.
On behalf of Government of Rajasthan, Veenu Gupta, Commissioner, Rajasthan Council of Elementary Education, on behalf of UNICEF, Sulogna Roy, Education Expert, and on behalf of One World Foundation India, Naimur Rahman, Director, signed the MoU.
The project on the overall is managed by OneWorld which is also the creator of the LifeLines concept and its technology. Government of Rajasthan leads the outreach and mobilisation for the service, which it has aligned to the state’s Sarva Shiksha Mission. UNICEF provides the vital resource support to the programme along with domain expertise, strategic direction and advisory.
LifeLines will now be accessible free-of-cost in all the 33 districts of the state on a toll-free number - 1800-11-7273. The expansion of LifeLines means that teachers and students alike, in any nook and corner in Rajasthan, now have a handy channel where they can direct all their academic queries, for quick and informative resolution, just on the dial of a phone!
LifeLines provides answers to school-level subject and curriculum queries in a succinct manner, and in both Hindi and English languages, within 24 to 48 hours. The queries are addressed by a panel of academic experts and educationists, who bring along rich experience of teaching and pedagogy for different subjects at the school-level. The helpline is serviced out of the LifeLines Knowledge Hub in SIERT, Udaipur where a team of Knowledge Workers process the incoming queries in consultation with the team of domain experts.
Since LifeLines was first launched as a pilot in Rajasthan in September 2008, the service has logged over 12,000 queries from teachers in Udaipur alone. Teachers have posted queries on a variety of topics – ranging from subject and pedagogy questions, to classroom management guidance, to policy, administration, and also current affairs updates.
Teachers, who have used the service in the past months, have reported much help and benefit derived from it. The information they receive is timely, and didactic in nature, which makes it easier to be implemented in the classroom. Quite a few teachers have taken help from LifeLines to employ new pedagogic techniques in their lessons - like for instance in making Math more interesting, or teaching English to a new learner at the primary level.
Such inputs have contributed to better the teaching learning process in school classrooms that in turn is benefiting the students as well.
In the past 18 months of its implementation, LifeLines has established as a credible source of reference for teachers. Its popularity is visible in the increasing number of queries it has recorded, and more importantly in the number of teachers who have used the service proactively, even though it was a paid service till October 2009.
With the scale up of LifeLines Education toll-free, teachers across Rajasthan will be able to surmount the challenges they face in their classroom transactions, while diversifying their knowledge horizons through academic sharing. LifeLines will also enable a platform for teachers’ networking and foster their participation in educational processes, especially in the context of application of the Right to Education Act in Rajasthan.
LifeLines also serves as a hugely successful agri-advisory helpline in 3 other states in India – Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Haryana – where it reaches over 150,000 farmers in over 2000 villages. The service has entered the fourth year of its implementation in the agriculture sector now. Its FAQ databank comprises in excess of 300,000 knowledge elements and covers 3 complete crop cycles from distinct agro-climatic zones of the country.