Bhubaneswar: Naveen Patnaik-led Odisha is known for evidence-based transformative moments and the same can be said for education in the state. The key to this educational transformation is not to standardise education or only upgrade the infrastructure, but to personalise it, to build achievement on discovering the individual talents of each child, to put students in an environment where they want to learn and where they can naturally discover their true passions.
This is exactly the philosophy being followed as part of the 5T principles (Technology, Teamwork, Transparency, Time and Transformation). The idea of up-gradation of government high schools driven by the 5T principles is to improve quality of education in high schools by using the latest technology, revamping infrastructure by means of digital and smart classrooms, interactive learning environment, e-library and modern science laboratory. The 5T High School Transformation Programme targets to encourage the active involvement of alumni, community members and elected local bodies for infrastructural transformation in schools.
All the government and government-aided high schools of the state can be part of the 5T High School Transformation programme which is being implemented in phases. In the first phase, 1,072 high schools have been identified across the state under 5T High School Transformation programme phase for a complete transformation. In a short period, the programme has not only resulted in the transformation of infrastructure but also elevated the self-confidence of students belonging to humble backgrounds especially in rural areas.
The relentless pursuit of academic “rigour” under the 5T principles, with its broad focus on improving the infrastructure is quite resilient. Despite the extremity of the health crisis, the state hasn’t treated education as a second fiddle.
In the first phase schools, each school, apart from the local mobilisation, is allocated Rs 45 lakh, including the matching grant from Mo School against the CSR/donor contribution of Rs 15 lakh. All the infrastructure work under High School Transformation Programme (1st phase) is to be completed by 14 November 2021. Academic enrichment work under this programme will continue for a minimum of three years. This major new investment will make sure schools and colleges in Odisha are fit for the future, with better facilities and brand new buildings, so that every child gets a good education
The initiative is a game changer. With the virtual classrooms and STEM based science labs, students can aspire for bigger ambitions, provisions for which were not available in rural areas previously.
Soft components specifically focusing on vocations and dreams of children will be worked upon to ensure their career paths are at par with those coming out from private/public schools/from cities. The entire school ecosystem will be brought to mobile web portals, where children get their attendances, notices, report cards, TCs etc all through a unified school learning management system and dashboard.
The first phase of the programme involves 4,198 secondary teachers and 381,280 secondary students. The initiative aims to develop the aspirational level among at least 70% to 80% of high school students through provisioning various facilities and hands-on exposure, thereby making them competent with their fellow counterparts worldwide. All students of Classes 9 and 10 in the aspirational schools will receive unique teaching-learning experiences after the introduction of smart classrooms and interactive smartboards.
The schools covered under 5T High School Transformation Programme are proposed to undergo major transformations in terms of infrastructure, academics and other co-curricular activities. To bring more laurels for the state and for the country in the fields of sports, science and culture, aspirational schools are being equipped with advanced sports infrastructure and equipment, state-of-the-art laboratory cum interactive science centre and other basic amenities.
Apart from infrastructure, the focus of 5T HST programme is towards the academic enrichment of the teachers; to enhance their skills through training and exposure. Keeping up with the technological advancements, students are being introduced to 21st-century skills and “Code Club” programme under Mo School. Teachers are being imparted training under the 5T High School Transformation programme on pedagogical management of smart classrooms to ensure that they are well-versed with the curated digital educational content. Odisha is truly creating an education system which allows all students to achieve their potential and have a positive experience whilst in school.
Manoj Kumar Mishra is Secretary, Electronics and IT, Government of Odisha.