July 5, 2021 12:46:54 am
The state education department will roll out its 1,000-day plan for the World Bank-funded Mission Schools of Excellence project on August 1.
For the project, the department commenced training of all stakeholders — Block Resource Centre co-ordinators, Cluster Resource Centre co-ordinators, District Education Officers, District Institute of Education and Training (DIET) principals among others — on June 28 at Gujarat Council of Educational Research and Training (GCERT) headquarters in Gandhinagar. It will continue till July 8.
“Along with a better understanding of the project, from the training we are looking at a participative planning from all these stakeholders involved,” said secretary education Vinod Rao.
Further, as a part of training, project details include how to make Gujarat ready for Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) by 2024 — an evaluation of education system by measuring scholastic performance of 15-year-old students by Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
“The consultative-cum-participative-training-cum-workshop divided into batches is looking at identifying and selecting 500 schools that can be converted into Schools of Excellence in the first phase. So, the 250 BRCs are being trained to task with selecting two schools each from their block with a condition — both schools from different clusters. So, in the next batches education inspectors will be involved who are tasked with school accreditation process in the coming months,” Rao added.
The ambitious project has chalked out 25,000 new classrooms to be built in this period of six years — 4,000 classrooms per year, setting up 1.5 lakh smart classrooms in primary and secondary schools along with 25,000 computer labs and 5,000 Atal Tinkering Labs.
As per the analysis conducted and records maintained by the education department, taking a student enrollment bar of 150, 61 per cent of total 40,000 schools have an enrollment of less than 150 students and 12,622 schools (39 per cent of total 40,000 schools) have an enrollment of students above 150.
This comes out to be 73 per cent students in these 39 per cent schools and remaining 27 per cent in 61 per cent total schools. “The school of excellence project is targetting 80 per cent students in 40 per cent schools at the end of 2026-27,” said a senior education department official.
To work on both — infrastructure strengthening and school transformation including civil and digital infrastructure, adopting best teaching-learning practices and building capacity of teachers — the project is divided into phases starting with residential schools of excellence, emerging schools of excellence and aspiring schools of excellence.
To initiate with the residential schools of excellence, the recruitment of 252 contractual teachers by the education department for 84 existing model schools to be converted into ‘residential schools of excellence’ is under process.
These 84 schools with Samagra Shiksha are majorly in backward blocks except districts of Anand, Porbandar, Bharuch, Dang, Navsari, Junagadh, Chhota Udepur. The existing residential model schools were set up in 2015-16 in those blocks that are having low literacy levels as identified under Census 2001.
As the entire project is majorly funded by the World Bank along with AIIB and state government all the stakeholders are being trained on the project including selection of schools, performance based criteria for prioritising of works in schools selected, achievement of quantified academic targets as well as non academic criteria including pro-active involvement of school management committees (SMCs) and local stakeholders for the achievement linked fund allocation from these funding agencies.
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