How We’re Bringing ‘Smart’ Classes To Schools In Rural Maharashtra

Posted on October 2, 2016 in Education

By Sharad Sadaphale:

We are a group of young working professional who have taken the responsibility of children’s education, awareness and to empower them by guiding them through various activities for the children and families of Tahasil Pathari, Parbhani district. We want to offer the best of education to the children of farmers who are normally deprived of basic education, facilities and amenities.

It all started in 2009, when we came together with the idea of doing something different for this village. We began discussions on the different issues of the village daily by taking different views by interacting with students. We started a general awareness camp for the students and the people of the village. Friends and other volunteers joined the cause and thus there was a bunch of people ready to spend their time and energies for a social cause. In a short span of time, our small group had grown to over a hundred volunteers. Our experience till then had made us realise that there are many other problems that need to be addressed.

With due consideration, we decided to take up education of underprivileged children as our main mission. During our summer vacation, we had started the process for registering our educational society. We formally registered ourselves as an organisation with the government of Maharashtra in 2010, as Jai Vaishanavi Mata Education Society, Kherda.

When the students were unable to purchase stationary, we immediately took the step of distributing school kits to 200+ students of Class 1-8 of the Zilla Parishad schools in Saorola and Khedula. This helps them in their studies and improves their attendance in class.

However, more than stationary, we figured that what needed urgent work was the school infrastructure. Following which, we painted the Z.P. School in Kherda with the help of locals. Volunteers donated fans and we completed the electric fittings.

Once we were able to upgrade the school infrastructure, it was up to us to enhance the learning experience. The creation of a smart school was necessary for this purpose. So we collected around INR 30,000 while the teachers of our schools contributed INR 15,000. Presently, we have two computers with an e-library facility. One classroom is now equipped with an LED TV. Our vision is to enable students to learn using technology to make the learning process more fun, innovative and interesting by giving an opportunity to students to gather more knowledge and like other private education system. It will also encourage and help them to be confident.

And we are seeing some success in our endeavours. There has been an increase in student grades by 5-10%. There has been a noted increase in school attendance and concentration due to digital learning. We are planning to complete two more smart schools which would help 500+ village students.

Of course, we have a number of difficulties ranging from a lack of computers, the need for an inverter and the inability to convert to an ‘e-learning’ syllabus. But since we have been working on this from scratch, we hope to overcome each of these difficulties on the way. As of now, it’s up to us to ensure that all children, regardless of their class position, have access to a decent education that can help them achieve their own potential.

http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ViP3nObqhTs

Since we are wholly funded by private donations, this is where you can help us.

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