New development initiatives for Govt schools on the cards
• Differently abled students will be provided with additional support
• Teachers training on “curriculum adaptation” to be conducted by March
• Authorities plan to add more students to special residential training centres
• Focus on bringing down the number of ‘out of school’ students
• After receiving education in SRTCs, students are then enrolled into a nearby government school
• Schools to focus on bridging gaps after Gunotsav result
With the beginning of the New Year, schools in the city are set to see the implementation of a slew of development initiatives to improve the overall education scenario of government schools in Guwahati. According to some officials, government schools will see an increased focus on supporting differently abled children, capacity building of teachers through training sessions and improving the quality of education by focussing on the results of Gunotsav.
Differently-abled students to be provided with additional support
The government has decided to conduct continuous medical assessment camps for differently abled students in Guwahati.
It is estimated that the programme will cover a total of 916 differently abled students between the ages of 6 and 14 in the district.
Further, in order to emphasise on inclusive education, teachers’ training on “curriculum adaptation” will be conducted by March this year which will involve preparing and teaching the school curriculum with a balanced approach to include all learners in the classroom. The objective would be not to leave out any student for their disabilities.
Kamrup (Metro) district resource person for inclusive education, Suranjana Goswami said, “Teachers need to be made more aware about the learning needs of differently abled children. For this, all teachers across the district will be trained in Braille. They will also learn to develop suitable study material for all students.” She added that parents’ communities and special support groups have also been constituted for differently abled students.
Officials further informed that at present there were a total of 15 resource persons for inclusive education for providing home support to children with special needs.
In terms of infrastructural development for differently abled students, all schools in Kamrup (Metro) have been equipped with ramps and handles. The infrastructure work would be reviewed regularly and upgraded as per the need, said officials.
Strengthening of special residential training centres
The government has plans to strengthen the existing 128 non-residential special training centres (NRSTC) in the city.
In addition to the NRSTC, the district (Kamrup Metro) has one residential special training centre (RSTC) at Hatigaon with a capacity of 100 students. These centres provide formal education and support to children aged between 6 and 14 years, who are not enrolled in schools comprising mostly of child labourers and orphans.
“There are a lot of children who either drop out of school or have never been enrolled in one. For this, we are planning to add more students in these centres and increase their capacity,” said Kamrup (Metro) district elementary education officer, Buli Gogoi.
After receiving education in these centres for a year, students are then enrolled in government schools.
Further, the department has also decided to build the capacity of teachers by conducting a three-day non residential teachers’ training on “learning outcomes” in January. Under this, resource persons will cover every subject in order to improve the quality of teaching in schools.
Schools to focus on Gunotsav result
After the result of the first phase of Gunotsav was announced for Kamrup (Metro) district, officials said that they have been able to identify the deficiencies in the different schools.
Around 75 per cent primary schools in the Kamrup (Metro) district have scored low grades in the first phase of Gunotsav which is an initiative of the state government which aims at improving the overall quality of education in primary schools.
Officials informed that remedial classes were conducted for students who had scored C and D grades.
“Through Gunotsav, we received information about the schools which lack infrastructure and which have teacher shortage. We will be resolving these issues at the earliest,” said Gogoi.
According to data provided by the Assam Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Mission (ASSAM), a total of 708 elementary schools in the district were evaluated under the scheme, out of which 534 schools scored C and D grades.
Students between classes 2 and 8 of all primary schools in the district were assessed under the initiative. In Kamrup (Metro), only 18 schools were graded as A+, while 14 scored the A grade and 142 schools were given B grade. As many as 54,837 students were evaluated in the district on their academic as well as extra-curricular performance.
The second phase of the initiative will be conducted in the district in March and the authorities are hoping to attain a better result in this phase.
Officials also said that after the first phase, it was found that 61 primary schools were running on single teachers in the district. However currently out of these, 42 schools have been provided with one additional teacher.
Further, 168 primary teachers were appointed in the district after the first phase of Guntosav, taking the total primary teachers in Kamrup (Metro) to 2847 in 708 schools.