LifeLines-Education service launched in Rajasthan
LifeLines-Education, a phone-based information delivery and knowledge exchange service to provide critical academic support for rural teachers and students, was recently launched in Rajasthan by OneWorld South Asia. The service is presently being piloted in the Udaipur district of the state, and is expected to be extended at a later stage to its other districts as well.
Shri Kalicharan Saraf, Minister for Education, Govt. of Rajasthan placing the inaugural call to the LifeLines-Education helpline
Jaipur, 6th September 2008: A phone-based information delivery and knowledge exchange service to provide critical academic support for rural teachers and students – a first of its kind in Rajasthan – was launched yesterday in Jaipur at the Birla Auditorium by the state’s Education Minister Shri Kalicharan Saraf during a state-level teachers' felicitation ceremony.
Teachers assembled from all over the state appreciated the live audio-video demonstration of the process, presented by OneWorld South Asia.
The Minister placed the inaugural call to the LifeLines service, putting a query on the reasons for low rainfall in Rajasthan. His query was then responded to by phone through the voice response system of the helpline service.
Shri Saraf, in his address, urged the community of teachers and students to avail of this unique facility.
He elaborated that the LifeLines-Education service has come about through a public-private partnership between the Education Department of the Government of Rajasthan, UNICEF Rajasthan and OneWorld South Asia, under the aegis of the Rajasthan Education Initiative (REI).
The project is being piloted in the Udaipur district of Rajasthan for a period of one year, at a cost of Rs 63.45 lakhs.
Shri Saraf expressed hope that teachers would be able to place a high value on their professional identity through this joint effort.
Rajasthan Education Commissioner, Smt. Shubhra Singh informed that the pilot project was being launched in all the 11 blocks of the backward tribal belt of Udaipur, benefiting approximately 12,000 teachers in 3,545 primary and 1,146 higher primary schools. She added that there were plans to extend the service to other districts of the state as well.
UNICEF State Representative for Rajasthan, Shri Samuel Mawunganidze also spoke about the role of teachers in building national character and urged them to adopt modern techniques being made available to them.
OneWorld South Asia Director, Shri Naimur Rahman informed that the LifeLines project has been in operation since November 2006 and was launched first as an agri-helpline for rural farming communities in north India.
Presently the LifeLines-Agriculture service reaches out to a population of over 100,000 farmers in 2,066 villages across 25 districts in four states of India – Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.
The Lifelines-Education service also serves the teaching community in the Bardhaman district of West Bengal, reaching out to around 2,000 teachers across 571 schools in 164 villages of the Monteshwar Block.