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Spotlight Haryana — Innovation in Government Schools

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Haryana shows the way. With the help of technology, state government has taken initiative to change the game of imparting education to the government school students, writes Priya Yadav of Elets News Network ( ENN).

Innovative ways of learning are no longer a reality just for the students of private schools. In a leap, which is expected to vastly benefit thousands of students in government schools in Haryana, the Department of Education has collaborated with the American India Foundation Trust to introduce technology led curriculum in Science and Mathematics.

“Haryana has introduced technologyled curriculum in Science and Mathematics for Grade-9 students in collaboration with the American India Foundation Trust (AIFT),” said P K Das, Additional Chief Secretary, School Education Department, Government of Haryana.

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The initiative, which will be implemented in educationally backward blocks of Haryana, is expected to improve both teaching and learning of the two critical subjects. Part of the state wide Quality Improvement Programme, the initiative will be introduced in a phased manner, covering 10 Aarohi Model Schools.

The Principal Secretary said that the Trust will work with teachers in the school and collaborate with Avanti Learning Centres to provide classroom learning materials and teaching practices in Maths and Science.

“The aim is to ensure that students in the Aarohi schools are benefited from “the world’s best teaching methods,” said PK Das. The government is also working towards creating a core of trained teachers who could ensure that the initiative remains sustainable and more teachers can be trained for the same.

The project which gets its donation from AIFT and places no financial burden on the state government is designed in a way that facilitates teachers to focus on improving student’s concepts by using computer-enabled content and advanced pedagogical techniques. It ensures increased participation of both students and teachers.

It is not just this initiative that is promising better learning among government school students in Haryana. Officials claims that the school department is in the process of preparing a framework that will see introduction of activity based learning in government schools. Saturdays will be set aside exclusively for extracurricular activities of the students.

“The idea is to break the tradition of learning by rote,” said PK Das. Children must understand the concepts which are basic and for this experts will be invited to facilitate children in doing so. This will be done through a variety of activities.

Children should be happy in coming to school and not scared. They should enjoy themselves, feels the principal secretary. For this to happen, teachers are being made to attend workshops to introduce better ways of teaching so that children develop an interest in learning rather than learning by rote.

The government is preparing to introduce an activity based learning programme in primary schools in the state as a pilot project. Minimum learning levels for school students have been prepared and the activity based learning targets the children to achieve those levels.

For example, students will be asked to clean the school premises and pick up plastic waste in their village which will inculcate the message that cleanliness needs to be adopted and that plastic is hazardous for the environment. On Saturdays a range of activities will be arranged like music, drills, sports, theatre and talent of children will be polished through these activities.

“There are students who might not be good in academics, but are good in other activities. When grading the personality of the student, these activities should be accounted for. Around 20 different kinds of activities will be started in the schools. Even students who are physically challenged would be involved with sporting activities. The aim is to ensure that all students are involved in activities that they enjoy,” Das said.

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