Re-imaging School Education in Tamil Nadu By Supporting Samagra Shiksha, Department of School Education
Samagra Shiksha is an integrated scheme for school education extending support to States from pre-school to higher secondary level. The scheme was launched with a view to ensure inclusiveness and improve the quality of school education simultaneously with the broader goal of improving school effectiveness measured in terms of equal opportunities for schooling and equitable learning outcomes. The program makes quality of education high priority by focusing on Technology and Teachers. In Tamil Nadu the scheme is being executed with the vision to make Tamil Nadu India’s leading state in Education Learning Outcomes and Student Well Being.
In the state of Tamil Nadu, the implementation of the scheme will involve and benefit more than 37,000 schools and over 70 lakh students across 38 districts of Tamil Nadu. The project is carried out under the purview of State Project Director of Samagra Shiksha, the Commissioner of School Education and the Principal Secretary of Education. The execution of the scheme, being carried out with the help and active involvement of mByom Consulting and Management Services LLP, Indian Education Collective and CMD, will first focus on quality of education such as teacher’s training, activation of School Management Committees, holistic learning and development, etc. and the second aspect will focus on fundraising and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities for the School Education Department.
In the first part, currently, the training and sensitization of the resource people for the setting up of School Management Committees (SMCs) has been undertaken. Once reconstituted and established in all of the schools, these SMCs will be trained and handheld to play a crucial role in development of schools. To carry out this process the consortium led by mByom has engaged and is working with experts from various fields including a Faculty Development Expert, Pedagogy Expert, Education Analytics Expert, Social Media Expert and Architecture Expert. The first part, among other things, include integrating arts, crafts, sports, history, heritage, environmental studies, etc into the curriculum. Through the Education Management Information System (EMIS) the Education Department has district-wise access to data from all schools regarding student attendance, school requirements, etc. This EMIS will help the department identify and bring back the out of school students back to school.
The second part of the scheme involves working along with Communications and PR expert and CSR and Fundraising expert to create a new society, to monitor every activity within the society and subsequently to be registered under MCA guidelines for CSR in order to receive CSR funds. The team is doing a study to map contributions formerly made to School Education which will display fund utilisation and help to identify areas where additional support is required. Presently, preliminary assessments are underway and have indicated that efforts need to be taken in the spheres of technology, infrastructure, maintenance, quality of education, and in strengthening volunteering and community participations in schools. Amongst the blanket of intervention areas being identified, utilising funds towards building more high-tech labs, digital classrooms and for renovations of toilets in schools., are currently considered foremost. Simultaneously, proposals being prepared, aim at an all-round development of schools and benefits for the students.
A CSR conclave will be organised as a confidence building exercise and as an occasion to demonstrate the seriousness of the Government to optimise the fund utilisation and to bring the Corporates, NGOs and other key stakeholders under one roof to drive a cohesive development and transformational plan. This will also be first in a kind initiative to break the silos and for implementing a structured approach in line with the vision of the state Government involving civil society members and monitored at the highest levels in the Government. Synchronously, the requirements of all the schools involved will be showcased and highlighted by developing a CSR portal where anyone can access the required information and to simultaneously create awareness regarding the needs of each school.
The Department of School Education also intend to focus on the holistic development of students, including and incorporating sports, arts, etc. into the curriculum and to swerve from being purely academic-centric. It aims to achieve social, emotional and physical well-being enabling activation of student’s natural curiosity.
Students using computers in the Hi-tech lab in a school in Villapuram. Photo Courtesy: School Education Department.
Students planting saplings as part of field work for Vocational Education in GGHSS Kallanai in Tirunelveli. Photo Courtesy: School Education Department.
Students participating in sports competitions for Secondary Students in the District Level in Tirunelveli. Photo Courtesy: School Education Department.