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Tribal town Baran wins laurels for transforming education

Archana Sharma

Smart classes in tribal town? This may sound surprising to many but it is true. Baran district in Rajasthan has been holding regular smart classes where students are taking online and offline tests while enhancing their digital learning skills. The results in these schools are getting better and admissions too are going up bringing in winds of change in this tribal district. Scripting a story of transformation, this town recently earned laurels at the national grounds by sharing its success story on National Civil Services Day in New Delhi last month.
Baran District Collector S.P. Singh was among three collectors from India invited to Delhi on this day where he gave a presentation on Project Utkarsh — which, according to him, is the vehicle for transforming education in this district.
Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant had much praise for the project saying it had much potential for transforming education in rural India.

Singh informed that Project Utkarsh was also included in the book ‘New Pathway’ published by Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances and released by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Of the around 900 applications received from different corners of the nation, only 20 have found place in the book.
Sharing details about Project Utkarsha, Singh said that it works towards empowering students in thedigital domain. Since the last one-and-a-half years of its implementation in Baran’s schools, it has empowered around 10,000 students of 105 government schools of the district.

The project revived the ICT labs in these schools to ensure the students’ learning skills are enhanced and they become digitally empowered.

Also, the registration of students has increased by 19 per cent in the district, Singh noted.
Project Utkarsha is being run in Baran with the help of the district administration, the education department, NGO Moinee Foundation and Chhabra Thermal Power’s CSR, he informed.

Project Utkarsh also comes with a Quiz Bank which has interesting questions and students learn newer things while playing the quiz, he said.

Speaking about the transformation story of government schools in Baran, Singh said ICT Labs were introduced across India in 2007-08 in senior secondary schools. In Baran, these labs existed in around 105 schools but were non-functional. Not any more.

Thus the results of the Class X Board examinations improved by 10 per cent last year, he informed.
Project Utkarsha Director Vijay Vyas said that the students of class IX and X are major beneficiaries of this project as the content served here goes in accordance with the board’s syllabus. The question papers are aligned with the regular syllabus to ensure students learn GK, science and maths. Besides students, teachers, too, were quite excited with the learning techniques taught to them. “The reason project Utkarsha is delivering surprising results is that our team has smartly leveraged resources provided by central and state government irrespective of the fact whether it is ICT or human resource infrastructure. We have used these resources without any extra investment,” Vyas pointed out. (IANS)
(Archana Sharma can be contacted at archana.s@ians.in)

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