They say that the only constant thing in life is CHANGE. Nothing could be truer of the times that we live in today, where disruptive technology is transforming how we live our life and how we do business. With the intended agenda of the Central Government to push digitization and technology into everything from making payments to availing social security benefits, how ready are we to transition into and take benefit of this silent digital revolution that we are witnessing? Has every section of society managed to take the benefits of the digital revolution? How inclusive are the benefits of digital transformation? These are some uncomfortable questions which need to be examined.
It is in this context that the state of Andhra Pradesh, through its AP Janmabhoomi Initiative is leading the way in addressing the problems of digital literacy and digital inclusion. The Government of Andhra Pradesh with the support of Mr Komati Jayaram, Andhra Pradesh’s Special Representative in North America, is executing a social development programme called ‘AP Janmabhoomi’. The programme is an initiative working to take forward the vision of chief minister Chandrababu Naidu to digitize every school of Andhra Pradesh, address needs of community health care through the development of anganwadi centres and construct state of the art burial grounds in the state.
Under this initiative, 200 government schools in Vizag have been already digitized since the launch of the second phase of the initiative in November 2017. The stated aim is to cover 500 more such schools by January 2018. As a part of the initiative, in order to ensure efficacy and change, thousands of teachers are sought to be trained by an army of interns across the state on digital literacy skills necessary to inculcate teaching-learning methods based on global best practices using technology, computers and e-learning platforms. The unique feature of this initiative is that the government is covering 70% of the costs while the remaining 30% is being covered by various NRI’s and NRI organisations who wish to help the state develop.
Amuktha Malyada, an intern, teaching at MCPS MDL Allipuram School, Visakhapatnam posted on Twitter- “Proud to be a part of changing education system… a step towards DIGITALISED EDUCATION. I was overwhelmed by the kids’ welcome… teachers’ positive and competitive spirit among them while learning”.
Another intern, K. Hemaprashant at MCHS, Malkapuram, Vizag said “A step towards DIGITAL AP is on the cards. Enjoyed the feel of teaching experience at MCHS MALKAPURAM VIZAG. Teacher’s interest to learn really boosted me to add more and more points in teaching. Proud to be a part of this education reform.”
Recently, the efforts of Zilla Parishad High School (ZPHS) Cheedigummala, Visakhapatnam in Promoting Green Energy and Power Conservation under the APJanmabhoomi Initiative has been awarded as one of the best projects nationally by the Design for Change organization, which is the largest global movement of children driving change in their own communities. Further, Mr Jayaram Komati has been felicitated by UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development at the Transforming Education Conference for Humanity held at Vishakhapatnam from December 16-18, 2017 for his efforts at promoting digital literacy in the state of Andhra Pradesh.
From the progress made so far, it is amply clear that the Government’s ‘APJanmabhoomi’ campaign is helping to bring empowerment, independence, opportunity and convenience to the education system in the state. It is heavily banking on the support of youngsters on the field and various NRIs to cover the incremental funding needs to provide training and support to the teachers and schools covered under this initiative. With efforts underway in full swing on the ground the APJanmabhoomi Initiative truly has the potential of becoming a poster child of how impactful, sustainable change can brought along, given the sustained political will and a vision to make Andhra Pradesh truly a national leader in terms of growth and development in the years to come.