Sundargarh, August 10, 2022: School education in tribal dominated Sundargarh has taken a technology leap. The barriers of pupil-teacher ratio have been broken. The education delivery in the district has achieved size and quality.
In conventional physical classroom learning, a teacher could teach at most 30 students, as mandated by the pupil to teacher ratio. But the wonder of technology-aided-teaching here is enabling a trained teacher to teach around 5000-10000 students at one go.
Such a wonder revolution in classroom education has been brought by virtual technology. As a consequence, virtual classes are growing by leaps and bounds in Sundargarh district.
Sample this. The virtual classroom project was introduced in the district in the year 2019. A total of 70 schools were linked to VSAT satellite system in the first year. Now, the count of schools has touched a whopping 287. The classes conducted have grown to 572.
The result being; over 40,000 students from Upper Primary to Secondary schools have been covered under the virtual learning programme.
“We have a better learning experience in virtual classes. Trained and experienced teachers explain the subject lessons in good details. Their illustration with diagrams, images and videos make learning interesting. Moreover, we can directly ask questions and get answers,” said Monalisha Bagh, a class 9 student of Chhatasargi Govt Girls High School in Subdega Block.
The Principal of Bargaon Govt High School, Sunita Lakra said, “In virtual classes, lessons on subjects like science, maths and geography are explained through PPT (power point) presentations. This makes learning friendly.”
For the management of the virtual classroom project, an exclusive state of the art studio has been set up in Sundargarh. Using V-SAT (very small aperture terminal) satellite communication system, the studio has been connected to smart classrooms in schools in the district. Trained teachers impart lessons and learning materials to hundreds of students at one time using the facility.
“Virtual classes have added a new dimension to school education in Sundargarh. The use of technology has helped in making the school learning extensive, whereby govt school students residing in both urban and rural areas are benefiting hugely. This novel learning medium has strengthened education system in the district,” said District Education Officer Amulya Kumar Padhan.
Moreover, government-run schools, Odisha Adarsh Vidyalayas, Eklavya Model Residential Schools and Kasturba Gandhi Girls schools have also been covered under the virtual classroom project in the district.
The district administration has formed a panel of trained teachers handpicked from various blocks for the purpose. These teachers go live from the virtual studio at the district headquarters. Students in different schools attend the virtual classroom to take lessons on subjects like Mathematics, Science, English, Odia, History and geography.
Currently, virtual classes are being held for five days a week, from Monday to Friday. As per the schedule, while every day two classes are being taken for students in classes 9 and 10, for classes 6-8, 2 classes are held on every alternate day.
Under the State government’s 5T initiative, a large number of high schools in the district have undergone a transformation. Smart digital boards have been introduced to impart learning in schools. This has come handy in operating virtual classrooms.
The use of PPT presentation, video and animation for students from the studio has been made possible by the smart boards. The virtual learning enables two way communications, whereby students can ask questions and clear doubts too.
Under the High School Transformation programme, a number of advanced science laboratories have been set up in Sundargarh district. The schools are also equipped with all modern facilities.
The virtual classes have also enabled the teachers to demonstrate live lab experiments from the studio. Students across the district can participate and learn from live lab experiments. Even, teachers in urban and rural areas join the virtual class and takes notes on the live lessons/experiments.
There is a saying: Opportunity unlocks the limit of knowledge acquiescence by a person, which produce good outcome for others. The virtual classes in Sundargarh district have turned this into a reality.