Government Schools 2.0: The Kids Here Know All About Coding And Robotics
When you hear government school, what's the mental pictures that you get? Dingy, dirty, unhygenic and basic education. These words have almost become synonyms of government schools, that once upon a time were held in high regards, with many luminaries from all walks of life emerging from them. But lately one can see the craze for private schools no matter how much they charge.
But if we told you things were slowly changing in government schools both in cities and villages, would you believe us? Students whose parents are daily wage earners find topics like coding and robotics a piece of cake, all thanks to the Government Schools 2.0.
Panchayat Union Government Middle School
To prove our point let us take you to a very small village in Tamil Nadu called Puduvoyal. Unlike most villages in this state this one can't really boast of a great literacy rate. But a government school here- Panchayat Union Government Middle School, Madhavaram- class VII students are learning cup stack coding, which is a pretty complex topic in itself. Cup stack coding, a technique where children are taught the basics of coding, programming and robotics. This topic is so new, that IT is yet to reach all city schools including the private ones.
All this was possible only with the help of Amazon, Play Learn Foundation and an amazing teacher- Borve Kharsyntiew, that the students of this remote village are a part of STEM education, which starts from grade II to VIII.
Here, we are teaching them the basics of Mechanics and Physics and how to write a program through day-to-day activities. It's best to start early. By the end of the term, they also get to work with a robot- Borve.
The initiative has also helped in equipping the school with LCD projectors and laptops helping them to run smart classrooms. According to school's Headmistress, Tamil Arasi, these initiatives have not only brought down drop-out rates, which is a major concern in government schools but have also helped in increasing the enrollment rate in the school. These subjects helps in retaining a child's attention for a longer time, making sure children attended classes regularly.
These children are very keen to attend the robotics classes where they were taught about motors, the gear mechanism, lever and pulleys, which they learn practically. The attendance is high on Mondays and these children do not skip any class now - Tamil Arsi to Edexlive
Seva Bharat Trust Government (SBTG) School
The second such example is a government school near Bengaluru, Karnataka- Seva Bharat Trust Government (SBTG) School, who with the help Akshara Foundation, an educational NGO, helping students by exposing interesting world of science and innovations.
That's the reason why in 2014, this organization set up a robotics programme in SBTG, to make a point that if provided with opportunity and easy access to technology, even students of government schools who come from humble backgrounds can shine. Ashok Kamath, the chairman of Akshara foundation said the idea came from Lego Foundation. This Foundation gave an annual grant of Rs.10 lakh for three years to promote fun learning and creativity among not so well-off children.
With the financial aid, Akshara managed to set up a lab in Seva Bharat Trust with a dozen computers and 20 robotic kits, opened it doors to kids from11 to 14 age group.
If you start something with good intentions you are ought to succeed. In 2016, the students from this government school managed to beat 15 schools, including private schools such as St. John’s High School and Bishop Cotton Girls School in RoboCup Junior Nationals with their robot who danced to the music of Mission Impossible theme song.
I hope more and more MNC's join hands with local NGO's to help them provide proper education and access to technologies to students living in villages and small towns, so that with equal learning even they can walk shoulder to shoulder with urban kids. Not only that this will also help the government schools to get their lost glory back.
Picture Source: EdexLive; LiveMint
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