By Etee Dubey
July 08, 2017: It is quite evident that in this day and age, technology has become synonymous with development. Information Technology has transformed every sector and is currently in the promising phases of altering academia. In the coming decades, if information technology has this approach, education will be far changed, more immersive and hopefully more constructive to the people than it is today. Digitization in education industry has totally changed the learning and also the teaching process to a very great extent. The AP Janmabhoomi project undertaken by the Andhra Pradesh Government, along with the Special Representative of North America, Mr Jayaram Komati, has taken steps to undergo digitization of the Government education sector.
The AP Janmabhoomi project is a social initiative by the Government of Andhra Pradesh along with The Special Representative for North America, which true to its name, aims to give back to its native land. The initiative mainly comprises of 3 main scheme- Digital Classroom, Anganwadi Centers and Crematoriums.
The A.P Special Representative for North America, Shri Jayaram Komati, is taking the initiative of A.P Janmabhoomi forward with the launch of the second phase of the Digital Classroom project which targeted 630 government schools across 13 districts across the state. The creation, usage, and management of state-of-the-art facilities have taken the project to the next level. In the first phase of the Digital classrooms, around 1000 schools were well-equipped with appropriate technological processes which resulted in competent and proficient pedagogy. Around 1.5 lakhs rupee is spent as the cost of a single digital classroom. Functioning on a mutual basis, this amount is divided in the 70:30 ratios, where 70% of the funds are allocated from the Government while the rest 30% is donated by our NRIs. The financial contribution per NRI amounts to $750 or Rs. 45,000. More than donating funds, it is a way for more NRI’s to get connected to schools and create strong, impactful and everlasting bonds with the children by mentoring and guiding them. The donors are recognized by a donor plank present in the classroom. The donors can also donate in the memory for their beloved ones.
The digitization of classrooms primarily aims to propel the quality of education in the state, through technologically advanced endeavours like smart class, visual and auditory explanation of concepts. Concepts are best understood if they are aided with illustrations and sounds, hence, raising the quality of education provided. The digitization will help in creating a more interactive and intellectually stimulating environment for the students and also help in quicker grasping and a better understanding of concepts. Not to mention, availability of internet can work wonders and increase the accessibility to studying material by manifold. Most importantly, this scheme will lead to technology-integrated learning which is more authentic and breaks away from a passive non-interactive learning environment. The digitization of education will also be an enormous aid to students who are physically handicapped as an audio and visual explanation of concepts will enable them to gain the knowledge they previously could not.
Digitization of education will not only help the students, but also teachers that will disseminate the information. A. P. Janmabhoomi has taken steps towards computer literacy between the teaching staff of Government schools that would enable them to gather more reading material on the concepts as well as allow them to go through the research papers on the same. An Internship Program was organized by AP Janmabhoomi where youth from several colleges interned at AP Janmabhoomi, volunteering to instruct the teachers at Government schools of the state about the basics of computers and internet usage. The teachers were given lessons on MS Office, Email and Google drive. They were made aware of all the open resources tools available. They were given lessons on how to access the teaching aid videos available and how to use and download YouTube videos.
The Janmabhoomi team is not only focused on digitization of school education but is also working towards digital literacy among the youth to enhance chances of employability. They have organized campaign and workshop for the same. For instance, Youth Empowerment Program is an initiative taken to develop and enhance the computer knowledge as well as digital literacy among the youth. It was a three-week government-run pilot project on digital literacy in Andhra Pradesh’s Prakasam district. About 50 candidates from 7 Gram Panchayat were offered free training by interns for three weeks. These interns were trained to teach computer applications to the candidates. They mentored the youth in basic computer skills, ranging from using the computer to working on the MS Office suite of programs, through session-based learning in a simple yet comprehensive presentation format. Besides, the program also offered training in communication and résumé writing skills.
Through the digitization of education, it has become possible for the Janmabhoomi team to further enhance the exposure and quality of education available to students at the Government schools. The Youth Connect Program by Janmabhoomi is a testimony to the same. The NRI School Connect Program was launched on 3rd April 2017 by Mr Jayaram Komati in California, USA. The initiative is aimed at connecting the students from Government schools in Andhra Pradesh to Indian Diaspora to diversify knowledge of student base and gain knowledge from their experience. The Global School Connect Program was one such connecting experience between GVMC School, Vizag and Holy Angels School in Toronto, Canada on 20 April 2017.
The Janmabhoomi team is putting consistent efforts towards connecting the Indian Diaspora to their homeland by including them in their efforts to uplift the people belonging to underdeveloped and remote areas. The NRI Internship Program is one such initiative where the interns will not only focus on existing donor engagement but also be employing state of the art enterprises/activities as a part of our fundraising activity.They will get the opportunity to interact with various government officials and work with Teacher support. The interns will be expected to work from July to August, operating virtually 8-10 hours per week on an average in the summer.
The Janmabhoomi team is working tirelessly to bring a real change through their consistent efforts and goal oriented approach. Provided that their actions help the people in need, one can only hope towards a brighter future aided by technology in the classroom and a drive to progress.
For applying to the internship, visit: www.apjanmabhoomi.org/internship-application
For more information and Donation, visit: www.apjanmabhoomi.org