In the first phase of the conversion of UT Schools into Information and Communications Technology enabled smart schools,the construction of a Senior Secondary School coming up in Sector 54 is slated to be completed within the next two months,and thereafter the ICT equipment be put in place. Additionally,two existing schools are to be upgraded to be smart,in Sectors 16 and 35.
A budget of Rs 2.6 crores has been allocated to acquire the necessary infrastructure. Tenders have already been called for the equipment to be installed in the schools and the expense for the apparatus alone will be around Rs 60 lakh in each school, said Deputy Director (School Education),Chanchal Singh.
The proposal to develop the two schools in Sectors 16 and 35 according to ICT standards was raised around 3 years ago,as these were considered to be model schools by the department,but no implementation was initiated. The information regarding the number of rooms and the existing infrastructure has been sought from us by the department,which we have provided. The next step is awaited from their side,though no installation of equipment has begun, says Anujit Kaur,principal of the Government Model Senior Secondary School 16.
The first and only smart school functional in the city is the Government High School in Sector 53. The reason for the construction of another such smart school in close proximity of the school is to accommodate the children in the neighborhood. There are many children in colony number 5 who will be enrolled in the Sector 54 school. Class X for the Sector 53 smart school will only begin by next year. There are always problems in starting a new venture, said the Deputy Director.
The department is yet to initiate a training programme for the teachers to be employed in these schools. Last year in October,applications were invited and around 10 teachers were recruited through an e-content development competition at the State Institute of Education to teach at the Sector 53 school. Later,15 more teachers were admitted from different schools,on voluntary basis. Most recently,the number of teachers in the school has risen to 34,though still falling short of the required 40 in number.