From the Principal

SMS Computer Project

Dear Parents and Friends,

A new venture has been undertaken in our continuing endeavour to improve the quality of education provided at St Mary’s. The project involves 2 phases. The first phase entails the setting up of a new computer laboratory equipped with a bank of about 50 computers. The location of this new computer laboratory is in a disused room off the present science lab. This room used to be the library formerly. The computer laboratory will allow the boys of various classes to have hands-on access to a computer. They will be able to learn from and do research from a variety of currently available educational software packages. Internet access will also be possible but it is limited at the moment due to the poor infrastructure currently available in this part of Rajasthan. The official school website is also under construction.

The second phase will be the setting up of a computer CPU in each classroom. The plan is to connect these CPUs to a 29 inch Television in each classroom. This would enable teachers to include multimedia presentations during the course of their lessons. The project is being undertaken by a Bombay-based company called "IT Riders" — run by an ex-pupil, Daron Pereira. Work on the first phase of the project is very near completion. The old library has undergone much renovation. The walls have been replastered and repainted. The flooring and lighting have been redone. A server room has been constructed within it and 45 computers have been installed in the room. The work on the second phase has also started. Cables have been laid to various parts of the school buildings. A pilot project to assess the effectiveness of the plan is scheduled to start from the next academic year. The television and CPU will be installed in 8A and the teachers teaching this class will use the system till about the mid term exam next year. We will thus be able to have some feedback and pointers as to how best to proceed with the second phase.

The total estimated cost for the project is in the region of 40 lakhs. It has been made possible because of the generosity of one of our ex-pupils - Victor Menezes [Batch of ’63]. He has contributed a sum of Rs 35 lakhs towards the creation of the IT Centre. We have overshot this budget by about 5 to 7 lakhs. Maintenance of the old school structure in terms of new electrical wiring, pest control, waterproofing etc are some of the added expenses. The purpose of this letter is to acknowledge Victor’s contribution and to thank him for his immense generosity. Secondly it is to ask your assistance in helping us to raise the remaining funds. Contributions can be sent by draft in favour of "Principal, St Mary’s IT Project Fund." Please contribute generously towards this worthy cause.

With every good wish

Br A John