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JMC, RCEE and HiWEL partner to set up 200 Playground Learning Centers in Jaipur
JMC, RCEE and HiWEL partner to set up 200 Playground Learning Centers in Jaipur
Joint initiative to promote computer education among school kids
Jaipur, May 5, 2007: Jaipur Municipal Corporation (JMC); Rajasthan Council of Elementary Education (RCEE) and Hole-in-the-Wall Education Ltd. (HiWEL), an NIIT venture, have partnered to set up 200 Minimally Invasive Education (MIE) Playground Learning Centers (PLCs) to promote computer education among school kids in Jaipur.
A tripartite Memorandum of Understanding cum agreement, to this effect, was signed between the three parties—The Jaipur Municipal Corporation, Rajasthan Council for Elementary Education and HiWEL, here today. Jaipur Mayor, CEO, JMC; Director, Rajasthan Council of Elementary Education and Mr. Neeraj Agarwal, Head, HiWEL signed on behalf of the three organizations. This marks the introduction of HiWEL in Jaipur.
HiWEL PLCs provide free and unsupervised access to computers for children belonging to economically and socially marginalized populations, in remote rural locations and urban slums. HiWEL PLCs that come with the unique Minimally Invasive Education approach, encourage children to self-organize and take responsibility for their own learning.
This innovative solution is now being made available to the world through ‘Hole in the Wall Education Limited’ (HiWEL), a joint venture between NIIT and the International Finance Corporation, a World Bank Affiliate.
According to Mr. Rajendra S. Pawar, Chairman, NIIT, “With experiments like these, HiWEL is trying to find innovative ways to touch millions of children, including those outside the school system and bring them into the mainstream.”
As part of the agreement, HiWEL will set up 200 such PLCs with 400 computers in 200 low-income schools in and around slum locations in Jaipur. Hundreds of kids from adjoining slums and underserved communities will have access to educational content and games, and learn in an environment that allows them to build and improve their understanding through observation, exploration, discovery, and collaboration, with minimal intervention from adults.
Addressing the gathering at his chamber, Jaipur Mayor, Mr. Ashok Parnami said, “It is a matter of utmost pleasure that HiWEL is going to set up IT enabling PLCs at 200 sites in Government Schools, Government Aided School for students and children of slum dwellers in Jaipur city to improve the health, sanitation, computer literacy and other relevant issues. I wish all success for this ambitious Project.”
Speaking on the occasion, HiWEL Head Neeraj Agarwal said, “We are happy to receive the support of JMC and RCEE for this initiative.  We are hopeful that, together, we will be able to reach out to thousands of kids, especially from the economically challenged background, and prepare them for the knowledge economy.”
The project is also being funded by Michael and Susan Dell Foundation who are focusing on measurably improving the learning outcomes for the children.
NIIT has installed over 120 HiWEL Learning Stations across the country—from Leh in the North to Kanyakumari in the South; from Arunachal Pradesh in the North-East to Jaisalmer in the West. Outside India, these Learning Stations have been put up in Cambodia and Egypt and are now being implemented in several countries in Africa.
About HiWEL
Hole-in-the-Wall Education Ltd. (HiWEL) is a joint venture between NIIT Ltd. and the International Finance Corporation (a part of The World Bank Group). Established in 2001, HiWEL was set up to research and proliferate the idea of Hole-in-the-Wall, a path-breaking learning methodology created by Dr. Sugata Mitra, Chief Scientist Emeritus of NIIT.
Formally called Minimally Invasive Education, this innovative methodology was first tested in a slum in Kalkaji, New Delhi, in 1999. The experiment has resulted in a new technology and a new way for children to learn. In this experiment, a computer connected to the Internet was embedded into a slum wall and left for unsupervised use by children. The experiment suggested that children, irrespective of their social, ethnic or educational identity, can learn to use computers by themselves, thereby closing the much discussed “digital divide”.
The computers are provided in safe, public, outdoor spaces through innovative technologies. All activities at these Learning Stations are monitored remotely from Delhi.
NIIT is now making this technique available to the world through “Hole In the Wall Education Limited” (HIWEL). HiWEL is now poised to scale up the idea of Hole-in-the-Wall to make a significant contribution to improving elementary education and life skills of children across the world, especially those in disadvantaged communities in rural areas and urban slums.
About NIIT Limited
NIIT, Asia’s largest IT trainer, offers learning and knowledge solutions in 30 countries. NIIT together with the recently acquired Element K is now the first and the best choice for comprehensive learning solutions, worldwide.
Leading IT magazine Dataquest has conferred upon NIIT, the Top IT Training Company Award 2006. Rated among India’s Superbrands (2003-05), NIIT’s education offerings include: GNIIT, an industry-endorsed program for students seeking careers in the IT segments; Integrated ANIIT for Engineers (IAE)—a dual qualification program for engineering students under the NIIT Edgeineers series of training programs on advanced technologies for IT professionals and skill up gradation programs for engineering graduates. NIIT also offers a turnkey IT integration program that provides computer-based learning in 3,906 government and private schools.
In the Corporate Solutions Business, NIIT’s offerings are bolstered by its SEI CMM Level 5 assessed learning services capability. The Corporate Solutions Business offers integrated learning solutions that include strategic consulting, learning design, content development, learning delivery, learning technology services and learning administration.
NIIT’s customers include many Fortune 500 companies, universities, technology companies, training corporations and publishing houses.
For media queries, please contact:
Prateek Chatterjee, NIIT Ltd., 85, Sector 32, Institutional Area, Gurgaon 122 001; Ph: +91 124 4293041; Fax: +91 124 4293333; Email:
Shivanjali Singh, NIIT Ltd., 85, Sector 32, Institutional Area, Gurgaon 122 001; Ph: +91 124 4293044; Fax: +91 124 4293333; Email:
Neha Upadhya, Brodeur India; New Delhi, Ph: 9818657552, +91 11 26142292