The Emerging Trends For Increasing The Impact In Government Schools

by Nav Kishlay

Oct. 30, 2022, 8:41 p.m.

In the last two and a half  years we have witnessed a huge change in the operation of the educational institutions across the country. Especially within the government institutions. Pandemic has played its role in pacing up the changes in the delivery systems within the educational institutions. It has paved the way for an inclusion of a hybrid model of teaching within itself. This in tunr led to the changes right from infrastructure to teaching methodology. Through application and implementation of NEP 2020 by the Government of India, the emphasis is equally divided among the best practices of training the teachers , students and infrastructure development for education. The emphasis is on the holistic development of the ecosystem of education, specially within the government schools.

Recently Socio Story spoke with the Director and Head Sustainability, CSR, Brillio, Mr. Abhishek Ranjan. He shared the experience and observation of his, from the engagement of Brillio with various government schools across the states of the country. Though he mentioned many important aspects of the practices some of the major highlights according him are : 

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Teachers are the backbone and foundation of the educational system across the globe. They are the most important stakeholder in the system to facilitate a change. It is imperative to work with them and emphasize their participation. They play a pivotal role in the system hence it is necessary to train and incentivize them for their contribution. During the COVID they went an extra mile on their part to ensure the continuity w.r.t. imparting education.  They facilitated the change towards a hybrid classroom for the post pandemic operation. The influx of technology based teaching during the pandemic has gained popularity among schools. However it is also observed that there is a huge scope of work to build hybrid classrooms for the students from rural parts of India. As of now only 15% of the entire student population is able to benefit out of this system. Organizations like Brillio, SRF Foundation, Capgemini, UNICEF, CGI, Mindtree , Tech-Avant- Garde, Microsoft are working towards bridging this gap through their CSR initiatives.

To support distance learning, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on October 26, 2021, said it partnered with Microsoft and Tech-Avant-Garde to train teachers in hybrid learning. The Board said the aim was to educate teachers and schools on how to manage the uncertain times of the pandemic. Two teachers each from affiliated schools joined the training programme, which was conducted for five days. There was no registration fee and teachers from any affiliated CBSE schools participated. Overall more than twelve thousand teachers and principals  were trained through this program by the mid of 2022.

We all are well aware of the fact that online education cannot reform traditional classroom education. The traditional classroom has the element of personal connection, face to face communication and individual attention. In order to have a blend of the best of both online and offline classroom the introduction of hybrid classroom is a welcome reform.  It allows them to have flexibility for both the teachers and students w.r.t. teaching methodologies and learning experiences within the school system. The extension of the hybrid classroom is also penetrating in the  space of AICTE colleges and universities as well. The hybrid classroom is able to infuse the experiential learning environment from Kolb's theory. 

Abhishek Ranjan mentioned some interesting observations of his about multiple government schools of various states. Brillio Foundation has been working with more than twelve state government schools across the country.  Some of them are Meghalya, Delhi, Bihar, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Kerala.

According to him some of the major aspects for any educational institution to run it are : 

  • The Operational Cost (OPEX): Operational cost for sustainability of the school. 
  • Next is upskilling and upgrading of the staff (both teaching and non teaching) to maintain the quality of education in the school.
  • Commitment of the teachers and the students toward education 
  • Support from the government officials and departments to implement the changes smoothly. This includes infrastructure development and other logistical support required for the institution. 
  • Involvement of the community at large for the sustainability and the scalability of the schools. 

States like Gujarat have a lot of involvement from the alumni of the schools. The individuals donate and participate in the upgradation of the infra and the systems of their respective Alma Mater. Also the government ensures that the administration of the schools consists of youth and experience within it. The Principal and the staff of the schools can be found to be in their mid thirties to mid forties. This also assists easy transition of the systems w.r.t. technology. The involvement of the community is high in states like Gujarat. At the same time the emphasis is more towards Commerce and Arts subjects. 

Gujarat, Tamil Nadu , Maharashtra, Karnataka, Delhi are very much focused on the usage of technology and upgrading the infrastructure for the delivery of the sessions within the classroom .Tamil Nadu has an advantage of having more female teachers in the school which in turn also facilitate the admission of more girl children for the education. States  Karnataka & Telangana are the leaders in the usage of technology and digital infrastructure  for their schools. They have been able to train their teachers and upgrade them. Kerala tops all the states in infrastructure,  teachers and student commitment and overall environment for the education system. This itself explains the higher literacy rate within the state.

Bihar does have a strong foundation in Mathematical education. While Jharkhand is cruising to match the pace of the rapid change and integration of the technology within the education system . It is also important for these states to improve the quality of infrastructure, language proficiency and presentation. 

Meghalaya is one state that stands out in the involvement of the entire community within the development of systems of the government schools. It has a mix of youth and experienced workforce. The involvement of the government officials and retired bureaucrats is quite high there. The teachers and  the students are enthusiastic towards any new set of knowledge and education in general. 

It is quite evident that most of the states are willing to  bring the change in the state education systems and process. We still need to cover a long gap to ensure the availability and reach of education to all. Though NEP 2020 is allowing the schools to change their curriculum using STEM education and introducing new syllabus; there is also a pressing need to focus towards the idea of holistic development of a child in these schools. Bihar, Jharkhand, Rajasthan need to work more towards the infrastructure, health and hygiene of their schools and children. In addition they also have to focus on the development of the teaching staff w.r.t. Skills (Technical, Behavioral, Soft Skills etc).

The education of a child needs attention towards their Knowledge, Skills and Attitude from the very beginning. It is important to develop the content, in addition they must also learn to present it in a manner that it reaches their audience. The child must have a balanced psychological and physiological development. The holistic development requires a dedicated and concentrated effort and attention towards their Body, Mind and Soul. 

The efforts are visible and many stakeholders are coming together to work towards the need to create “Best Practices For Increasing The Impact In Government Schools”. Organizations like Brillio, Capgemini, CGI, Microsoft, Tech-Avant-Garde, Cisco, Mindtree do have initiated the process of collaboration with Government, Civil Society to create the entire ecosystem. This is being equally complemented by the efforts of SRF Foundation, UNICEF, Yuwaah, WWF, Deshpande Foundation, Smile Foundation, SKCT and many more. There are more than top fifty NGOs who are dedicated to the cause of Digital Transformation of the education system across the country.  

Socio Story through a series of ten articles is going to present the best practices and observations within this space. As a thought leader Mr Abhishek Ranjan and other members of Bangalore CSR Roundtable will be contributing from their own end towards it. The upcoming literature will also bring forth the inputs from individuals and  organizations like Tech-Avant-Garde, Microsoft, CGI, Mindtree, Capgemini, SRF, Smile Foundation, TCV, Pratham, Government, Schools, Colleges/Universities etc,  involved in the creation of such an ecosystem. 

A joint article by Abhishek Ranjan and Nav Kishlay

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