SOURCE: Cisco

Cisco

January 21, 2011 08:00 ET

Cisco Marks Phase II of Rehabilitation of Flood-Affected Population and Fosters Inclusive Growth; Lays Foundation to Build Two Schools in Bichali and Talmari Villages of Raichur District

Operationalises Remote Education Solution & Hands Over Additional 500 Houses Across Four Villages to Government of Karnataka in Phase Two of Project Samudaya

BANGALORE, INDIA--(Marketwire - January 21, 2011) - Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) today conducted a ground breaking ceremony for two school buildings at village Bichali and Talmari in the Raichur district of Karnataka. The schools when completed will actively impart quality education to students in this area of Karnataka. The initiative represents Cisco's commitment to partner with the government in its Asare program towards helping rehabilitate flood affected communities in Karnataka. A special event to mark the ground breaking ceremony was held in Bichali village in Raichur district that was presided by Shri Vishveshwar Hegde Kageri, education minister, Government of Karnataka and Wim Elfrink, chief globalisation officer and executive vice president, Cisco Services.

Cisco strongly believes that social, economical and environmental sustainability are quintessential to enhance the capabilities for all future communities and that technology can play a vital role in offering essential urban amenities such as education, healthcare, public services to rural areas through public private partnerships. As part of 'Project Samudaya,' Cisco aims to construct 3570 houses, two schools, and one primary health care center in the five flood-hit villages and is on course to completing this within the targeted two year time frame.

As completion of phase one of Project Samudaya, Cisco had enabled delivery of affordable high-quality remote health care service and handed over more than 500 houses in August 2010.

In phase two, Project Samudaya continues its effort to build sustainable communities and has demonstrated this vision by enabling remote education through Cisco Education Enabled Development (CEED) platform for young children in the flood affected villages in Raichur district of Karnataka. A live demonstration of an ongoing remote classroom session using Cisco Networking Technology was followed by the ground breaking ceremony. A pilot program to demonstrate the remote education solution was first run on August 27, 2010, in the presence of Shri Yeddyurappa, chief minister of Karnataka and the service has been operational since September 2010.

The CEED solution provided as part of Project Samudaya ties back with Cisco's most recent global initiative "Inclusive Growth" that uses network as the platform to lead to broad based transformation of nations. Today the education service facilitated by Cisco Education Enabled Development (CEED) platform are running successfully across four schools in Bichali, Talmari and Tungabhadra villages of Raichur for classes in English language, for students of standard seven and eight. This stands out as a perfect example of Inclusive Growth which is aimed at ensuring the non-enabled population is integrated into the mainstream economy by driving the agenda of economic inclusion and helps provide access to basic and affordable amenities such as education, healthcare and public services.

Teachers appointed by Everonn -- an educational company specializing in technology-enabled learning -- are delivering high quality supplementary courses remotely through the CEED platform to these students thrice a week. These teachers become a critical lifeline in enhancing the education quality in remote areas which otherwise would be devoid of high standard of education that is being enabled through an active role play of technology. In emerging countries, economic growth is often lop-sided and organic trickle down benefits take an inordinately long time to the larger population. Hence, inorganic means are required to accelerate the elevation of the capabilities of the population to integrate and partake in the overall economic development. This approach creates economic, political, and social stability and further accelerates the growth of the nation.

To support this, Cisco has:

a) Set up network infrastructure that allows each village to access the internet. The villages are connected wirelessly via sophisticated Cisco equipment.

b) Cisco has donated 100 computers in the 11 schools serving the five adopted villages. These computers have been installed by volunteer employees from Cisco. A complete set up using a Projector, Web Camera and Audio Speakers and Microphone has been installed by Cisco.

c) Currently, the children of class seven and eight are being taught English across four schools, three times as week, by a teacher (remotely from the city) using local vernacular language (Kannada) as the medium of instruction. Beginning with one school in August 2010, Cisco Education Enabled Development solution is being used to deliver quality remote education to four schools since September 2010. The schools are GHPS Bichali, GHPS Tungabhadra, GHPS Talmari and GHS Talmari. These schools are located in Bichali, Tungabhadra and Talmari villages and have 1087 students in all.

d) Besides this, the computer labs are being used to familiarize the children and teachers with computer education. A multimedia content based solution called e-Patashale has been introduced by Children's LoveCastles Trust (CLT), a NGO. This is being used by local teachers who have been trained by CLT, to supplement curriculum based education for classes five and six.

The event to mark phase two will conclude when additional 500 houses will be handed over to Shri Karunakara Reddy, revenue minister, Government of Karnataka at a ceremony at Khataknur village later today. The houses are located across four villages -- Khataknur, Chikmanchal, Bichali and Talmari in Raichur District of Karnataka. These houses have been constructed as per the government guidelines and specifications, and the model design that was modified based on the feedback received from the village residents. With the completion of this phase, Project Samudaya has successfully completed its housing project in two out of the five villages it had targeted to rebuild.

Cisco collaborates with government agencies and NGOs to develop 21st century sustainable education and health care models, enabled by collaborative networked information technology and communications. Cisco believes in the power of the network to establish connections between communities to facilitate more effective delivery of services to citizens, and provide a platform for economic regeneration.

Executive quotes 

"I am particularly happy with the partnership with Cisco as it encourages quality education at the secondary and high school level. I realize that technology can definitely help us achieve our vision of providing basic education to every child in this state and enrich the quality of our future citizens' lives. The two schools will set an ideal example to demonstrate how public-private partnerships like ours can bring about a social change," said Shri Vishveshwar Hegde Kageri, education minister, Government of Karnataka during the ground breaking ceremony.

"Easy and affordable access to public services like education and healthcare is critical to building a sustainable and strong community in the 21st century. We are encouraged by the Government of Karnataka's shared vision to rehabilitate and build sustainable communities in the flood-affected areas of Raichur. Project Samudaya gives us an opportunity not only to contribute to rebuilding lives for the flood affected victims, but to also leverage technology to provide access to affordable public services. I am happy that remote healthcare services and education services will help bring about a change in the lives of the villagers and provide an improved quality of life," said Wim Elfrink, chief globalisation officer and executive vice president, Cisco Services.

"One of the best ways to improve the living standard of a society, a samudaya, is by educating its children. We want to develop the children via quality education and integrate them into a global society. Effective education provided in an affordable manner is a sustainable mean to attain all of these. Project Samudaya has demonstrated this vision by enabling remote education through Cisco Education Enabled Development (CEED) platform for young children in these villages," said Aravind Sitaraman, executive sponsor of Project Samudaya.

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