Is Second Life a viable option as a complementary education modality for Rural India Empathic Argument Padmaja Surendranath

My empathic argument, presents the possibility of using Second Life or any other Virtual World for delivering education to out of school girls (11-13 yrs old), in rural india, keeping in mind to maintain a good balance between real-world and virtual world instruction. The podcast outlines the challenges involved while describing the basic problem that my final paper attempts to address.

Government of India issued a report on the status of children’s education for the year 2006. It was observed that the enrolment rates for girl children beyond 5th grade declined at the rate of 10% compared to boys. My hypothesis for the causes are based on 3 factors, also substantiated by government statistics,
1) distance of the location of schools providing upper primary education – currently it is more than 5 kms and hence commuting to the school poses a problem. For girls in particular. the distance also presents practical safety.
2) the inadequate number of female teachers at grades beyond 5th grade.
3) absence of separate sanitation facilities for girls.

If these were the causes that resulted in girls dropping out of school, I was curious to find out if employing a strategy of making complementary formats for education available to girls will result in reducing the drop-out rate.

Virtual Education as a Complementary Educational tool – is it possible?

1 Comment

  1. Rebecca

    November 26, 2007 @ 4:47 pm


    Hi Padmaja,

    Wonderful job on this podcast. You set up the problem extremely well. You give clear reasons why the current system is not working for girls of a certain age, motivating the need for an alternative that addresses these particular concerns. You then propose the idea of using virtual world-based education as a way to avoid these concerns. This raises a whole other set of issues in terms of the practicality of the virtual world solution that you raise. This lets a listener know that this is not a “pie in the sky” idea — that you are very practically examining whether virtual worlds can be used to create a change in this area. I’m very much looking forward to reading your ideas for addressing these questions that you raise.

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