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Educational programmes via TV from Germany to India


New Delhi: German broadcaster Deutsche Welle has signed up with IT@School ViCTERS, India’s first dedicated educational TV channel, to allow Indian students access to more than 200 hours of its educational programmes.

The agreement will offer schools and students in India the opportunity to see, among others, the popular German programme Mouse TV. It will also bring in documentaries and videos covering science, medicine, waste management, workplace safety, water, world cultures and the animal kingdom.

Deutsche Welle called India “one of the most significant providers of educational television worldwide.”

“This new partnership offers Deutsche Welle a great platform to reach out to students at schools in India,” said Angelika Newel, head of distribution Asia/Australia at Deutsche Welle. “We are confident that our brand of edutainment will be a hit with both students and teachers.”

IT@School ViCTERS is the educational channel of the Kerala government’s department of education.

Anvar Sadath, the channel’s executive director, described it as an opportunity for students here to “see and understand advanced educational video content of international standards”.

ViCTERS (virtual class technology on Edusat for rural schools), India’s first dedicated educational channel based on Edusat for schools, was inaugurated in 2005 by A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, the then president of India.

Kerala was the first state to make use of Edusat for transmitting educational programmes for nearly 15,000 schools in 14 districts.

Operational since 2007, ViCTERS is telecast 17 hours a day, from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. It is distributed by local cable operators, and covers as much as 80 percent of the total households in Kerala, according to the organisation running it.

ViCTERS also facilitates interactive virtual classrooms that enable school students and teachers to directly communicate with subject experts and educationists.

Incidentally, Deutsche Welle is Germany’s state-run international broadcaster. With DW-TV, DW-RADIO and DW-WORLD.DE, it produces news, background information and cultural highlights worldwide, while creating a platform for intercultural dialogue.

“One could say that DW is now positioning itself as a provider of high value educational content on TV and radio. ViCTERS, which is part of Kerala’s IT@School project, is probably the only state-run educational TV channel,” Deutsche Welle country representative for India Sajan Venniyoor told IANS.

Deutsche Welle has been working for the past 10 years with the Indira Gandhi National Open University and providing educational television inputs. “Education and partnerships with schools and universities will continue to be a priority for the broadcaster in the future,” said DW.

Deutsche Welle and DW-TRANSTEL have also been putting out educational television broadcasts in India. Deutsche Welle said it is open to support educational television in India with “hundreds of hours of programming.”