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SSA installs first ever computerized Braille machine in all districts of J&K

Minister of State for Education, Priya Sethi inaugurated the 40 character Braille Text Reading Machine for visually impaired children at the Resource Centre for Children with Special Need (CWSN) of SRML Higher Secondary, School today. The facility was inaugurated in the presence of State Project Director RMSA/SSA, Saugat Biswas, Director School Education; Smita Sethi; State Coordinator IEDSS (SSA), T R Mangotra; Chief Education Officer, Jammu, J K Sudan; Principal, SRML, K C Khajuria and various other faculty members. The state-of-the-art machines are being supplied to all the district resource rooms as part of the Inclusive Education for Disabled at Elementary Level (IED) component of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan (SSA), a centrally sponsored scheme funded by Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India. Earlier, State Project Director, SSA Saugat Biswas apprised the Minister regarding the utility of the new machine. Describing it as a path-breaking technology for the visually impaired he illustrated that the machine will enable the visually impaired students in reading and writing using computers. At the same time it will enable a user to take printouts of written material in Braille. Using this system, the visually impaired students can read and write even without the supervision of a teacher and also read from material available on the internet. Faculty, specially the visually impaired students expressed their joy at the installation of the facility. Visually impaired students felt connected to technology for the first time. The Minister also assured the faculty in general and students in particular about the smooth implementation of centrally sponsored schemes and also for better delivery of educational services. The MoS exhorted the students to derive maximum benefits from such schemes to develop for the development of a better teaching-learning process. The machines, a product of WEBEL Mediatronics Ltd, a Government of West Bengal undertaking, shall be installed in all the districts, and the Resource Teachers will be trained adequately by the SSA, so that they can further impart training to the visually impaired students of the State, Biswas informed. Meanwhile, professional training of 5000 untrained undergraduate teachers of J&K was kick started today. The first stage of the program i.e. the training of Study Centre Coordinators and Master Trainers of Jammu division was inaugurated by Minister of State for Education, Priya Sethi. The massive exercise is being executed by the Directorate of SSA, J&K in collaboration with the National School of Open Schooling (NIOS), an autonomous institute of the MHRD, GoI. State Project Director, SSA Saugat Biswas informed that an MoU was signed between the Directorate of SSA and National Institute of Open Schooling for training untrained undergraduate teachers in the month of December, 2015, and henceforth various preparatory steps have been taken. As on date more than 3200 untrained teachers have registered for the program and we have a target of training 8700 untrained undergraduate teachers in the next two years, he added. The training that shall be conducted through the distance mode shall cause no disturbance to regular teaching in the schools. Prof. C.B. Sharma, Chairman, National Institute of Open Schooling urged the Centre Coordinators and the Master Trainers to take advantage of the courses being offered by NIOS for upgrading their professional skills.