IndigoSchool Adoption and Indigo GetSmart Mobile Digital Lab Programs are expanding their project in Assam to convert government schools into model schools under the help and guidance of the SRF Foundation. The programme was initially launched in March 2018 in the villages of Indore, Greater Noida, Vadodara and Dehradun to uplift 60 government schools. Now, the same initiative has been extended to 15 more schools in Assam's Dibrugarh district. The objective of the programme is to achieve 'inclusion in quality education'. The Indigo School Adoption Programme focuses on transforming schools academically through digital and infrastructural upgrades. Students have access to customised subject-wise for a better in-class learning experience and improved comprehension of concepts.
The programme benefits not only students but also trains the teachers with 21st-century skills of digital education. They conduct headmasters leadership programme, nurture academic resource centre (ARC) and academic mela boast of facilitating creativity in teaching. In education, 'inclusion' meant the availability of free education to all children, irrespective of their caste, gender, financial and social background. 'IndiGo GetSmart' are digital mobile labs launched to spread digital literacy amongst students, youth and community people. Under this, the company would provide schools with better sanitation facilities, availability of clean drinking water, access to libraries, science labs, paintings and so on.
Definition Of A Holistic Education
A holistic education meant discovering oneself and striving to innovate new things or better ideas. Education is to instil skills that would enable a child to face the real world, which was the ultimate goal of the initiative. Furthermore, IndiGo and SRF Foundation bridge the digital divide by providing digital literacy to the youth in the villages. Under the GetSmart initiative by the company, more than 26,000 community members have benefitted in the Dibrugarh district alone.
A peaceful environment is a prerequisite for a good learning experience for a child. Positive, supportive and adequately equipped surroundings trigger concept comprehension. Thus, the programme promotes online education to reach students residing in remote locations. There is a regular interaction between the faculty and students to understand how much they have comprehended. Moreover, these interactions enable teachers to know their students better and understand their concerns. The spectrum of the program is not only limited to academics but also promotes extra-curricular activities like poetry recitation competitions, summer camps, etc. These activities involve parents also as an integral part of their child's educational growth.
An inclusive system of education pushes students to reach the peak of their potential. They face healthy competition from peers, and it brings all the students into one classroom. In 2018, United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) reported that 258 million children were out of school worldwide. In India, students are very often marginalised based on caste, gender, disability and poverty. According to statistics derived from the Ministry of Human Resource Development, more than 80 per cent of the Indian population resides in highly rural areas without the provision of schools. This only implies that there are 8 million children who are deprived of primary education under the guise of poverty and the caste divide.
1.5 Million Schools Closed Due To The Pandemic
Initiatives such as the IndiGo School Adoption and IndiGo – GetSmart Mobile Digital Lab programmes are quintessential to the revolution of our Indian education system. Our country desperately needs to reorganise and restructure its education models from traditional methods to a digital and technologically savvy formula, especially keeping the current pandemic in mind. The Coronavirus pandemic has indefinitely forced schools to make a paradigm shift from traditional classroom learning to a digital spectrum of learning. It is crucial to gauge and look at the criterion of accessibility in a digital world among children, especially those belonging to the rural population of our country. On the third of March 2021, the United Nations Children's Fund published a report citing that In India, the closure of 1.5 million schools due to the pandemic and lockdowns in 2020 has impacted 247 million children enrolled in elementary and secondary schools.
Those marginalised and overlooked are not born into families that could provide them with technological gadgets to facilitate remote learning. These children have a high chance of never returning to their classrooms even when things ultimately return to normal. In a country where the fundamental right to education is still a fight for many, school reopening plans did not efficiently incorporate efforts to recover and compensate children's lost education. The report further added that only one in every four children has access to digital devices and internet connectivity. Education is a privilege in India, and not everyone has the option of learning from the comfort of their homes. Initiatives where one focuses on the digitalization of education and technological access uplift children and their education and improve their quality of learning. Once classroom learning upgrades in government schools, there is a high probability that more and more children enrol themselves into these schools.
While we focus on accessibility as a challenge, we must also keep track of the quality of education offered in government schools. According to the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) of 2018, 55 per cent of fifth-grade children in government schools of India were incapable of reading a second-grade textbook by themselves. While India houses numerous policies to improve the quality of education imparted in government schools, the functionality and implementation of these policies are essential aspects to consider. Well-to-do companies must invest in this sector of our society to bring about a change that is envisioned and brought to life. Be it through the government or private sector, improvising on the quality of government schools can be linked to various positive learning outcomes, particularly for the underprivileged children of our country.
Thinking at the behest of our children and their fundamental right to education must be at the core of all educational reforms in today's society. Analysing different ways in which productivity in schools can be increased before implementing policies and schemes by both government and the private sector will be vital to their success in other states and union territories. While we find ourselves engulfed in a national emergency, we must try our best to fight the unprecedented catastrophic educational crisis that came along uninvited.