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Casio's plan: Music labs in Indian schools

Payal Verma | August 13, 2003

Casio India Co Pvt Ltd, the wholly owned subsidiary of the $6 billion Japanese consumer electronics major Casio, is tying up with schools to set-up 'music labs' and 'maths labs.'

The company expects to tie-up with 100 schools by the end of the year. The deal has already been inked with a number of schools including Delhi Public School, Air Force School, Apeejay and Modern School in Delhi, Welham's in Dehradun and some others.

The company is also planning to collaborate with the Central Board of Secondary Education and align its products with the curriculum of the board.

"The conventional method of teaching does not help students to understand and analyse. We are proposing to help students learn in a more interactive manner with the help of our products. This will help save a lot of time," says Kulbhushan Seth, chief manager (market planning) and head (sales), Casio India.

Casio's 'maths lab' is an interactive classroom where each student has a 'graphic calculator' with a small screen that allows one to see data in the form of tables, graphs and charts.

The gadget, which can be programmed, takes care of basic calculations, leaving time for the teacher to help students understand the reason behind a step and not how it is done.

The company claims that this will not retard the students' skills but will enable them to learn to analyse, understand, reason and enjoy the 'dreaded' subject.

"We ask them to get a set for the entire class in place of, say, the two computers which are usually used by the kids to play games," says Seth.

In 'music labs' again, each student has his own instrument which has a special keyboard with keys that light up, as the teacher presses the relevant notes.

It is helpful for students who do not know how to read music. PC compatibility is the chief characteristic of these musical instruments that come with built-in floppy disk drives and tools to create tones and rhythms.

Seth says that currently the focus is on creating acceptability for its product range.

The prices of the graphic calculators range from Rs 2,850 to Rs 4,850, while the keyboards are between Rs 6,000 and Rs 30,000.

The marketing and promotions budget of the company for this fiscal is Rs 40 lakh (Rs 4 million).

This money will be spent on road-shows, conferences, training and presentations.

In the past year-and-a-half, the company spent Rs 30-40 lakh (Rs 3-4 million) on similar activities.

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