Open Links Foundation launched the pilot for Acharya Vinoba Bhave Sikshak Sahayak Kryakarm at Zilla Parishad government school, Wagholi, on the outskirts of Pune. This is also the cluster head for 12 schools in the region.
The school was buzzing with children - happy and frolicking – naturally. Most children appeared from the lower-income bracket. The school was beautifully painted. It was well maintained in many parts yet looked astray in others. The school looked lively with children running around outside the classes, some very happy and smiley to see us, some hiding behind trees shyly. We learnt more about the school proceedings and how it undertakes its educational disciplines as the day went on.
"All the education here is free. Many children face difficulties separate from education. Some children have hearing difficulties that convert into speaking problems if not treated at the right time. The treatment and implants are costly, about 2-5 lacs. Then some children cannot see well. They need eye treatment and also specialized teachers who can help their education. There are other children with special needs. 29,000 such children have been identified in the Pune district alone. Apart from providing education to these children with special needs, the government also provides medical treatment for these children – all free of cost!" explained one of the teachers.
This was an eye-opener for me. I had not known about the humanitarian side of government schools. It was tear-jerking to hear all the stories of different children and their families, where they come from and the hardships they face. Inspiring to see the lengths to which the schools are ready to go to facilitate quality education and life for these children.
The government also provides free food under the mid-day meal scheme to children. The food is cooked on school premises. "The food is delicious. I also love to have the food here," added another teacher with a smile.
Open Links Foundation provides technological tools and programs to support, engage and motivate the teachers toward 21st Century education as per NEP 2020. The new National Education Policy works on building classrooms that promote engagement and creativity in a responsive and effective pedagogical environment, pushing students to develop holistically. Vocational Education for a student starts in 6th grade, along with internships in the new policy.
According to U-DISE 2016-17 data, 19.6% of students belong to Scheduled Castes at the primary level, but this fraction falls to 17.3% at the higher secondary level. These enrolment drop-offs are more severe for Scheduled Tribes and differently-abled children, with even more significant declines for female students within each of these categories.
The new education policy aims to push the teachers forward with tools and resources for engagement, motivation and support.
The NEP supports the widespread adoption of technology to help teachers better network, share resources, provide peer feedback, and ensure that the small schools in remote areas are made part of the ecosystem and are not left behind.
Soon, all this technology will be implemented in these Zilla Parishad government schools as well, according to the policy. This will ensure that all schools in the country develop and flourish equally, with good ideas and resources shared easily with due recognition to the contributors at various levels.
tickLinks is an open-source Wikipedia platform where teachers can register their accounts to make a teacher connection and become a part of a teacher community to build a teacher portfolio. We provide these teachers with high-quality teaching resources and lesson plans, training them to strategize their teaching methodologies for maximum class engagement and student learning outcomes for implementing NEP 2020. It is crucial for teachers to be well prepared beforehand to make the class more fun and engaging, and we provide precisely the same for teachers to achieve their best.
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