By: VIKAS DOGRA
It is great that Himachal has been ranked first in the field of primary education for the third consecutive year (India Today survey). There is a lot of change happening in the government schools in the state. The latest one is the introduction of Karate training (for self defense) for the girl students in government schools. And it’s free of cost. Girl students of Classes 6, 7 and 8 have been given this opportunity. And as this programme has just started as a pilot project in just 40 schools in seven districts of the sate, the results in the beginning are astounding – more than 5,000 girls have enrolled.
Well next time when some of you get a chance to visit a primary government school in the state, you will find a visble change (some schools are still catching on). The drab off-white paint on these school walls has been replaced by bright colours and somewhere interesting figures can be seen on them. And after the first phase of the Sarva Siksha Abhiyaan, many drop outs have been brought back to the schools – a move targetted to keep them interested in the school.
Another addition to this has been done by modifying the school building structures to use them as learning aids. BALA (Buildings as Learning Aids), a name given to the campaign – has various games been permanently painted on the school floors and walls, so that students can learn someting as they play. Then to make the students understand ‘angles’ practically and by play-way method, arcs with angle measurements have been drawn on the doorsteps of the classrooms (as the door opens and closes on an arc – the students can see for themselves that what angle is it forming on the floor). Installtion of black-boards under the tree shade in the school-ground is another thing that is coming up in many schools. Yet, much more is to come.