Blackboards to digital panels: How classrooms in Andhra Pradesh are cultivating education revolution

With this, Andhra Pradesh became the first state to introduce interactive learning tools in government schools

Blackboards to digital panels: How classrooms in Andhra Pradesh are cultivating education revolution

VIJAYAWADA: On Tuesday, 14-year-old Sunita attended her first digital class along with her eighth-standard classmates in a government school in Krosuru of Palnadu district in Andhra Pradesh. She says she is overwhelmed. Blackboards in her schools are being replaced with Interactive Flat Panels (IFPs), screens used for writing, drawing images, and playing interactive educational videos.

Installation of IFPs is the latest among the initiatives of Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, who has transformed the face of education in Andhra Pradesh. With this, Andhra Pradesh became the first state to introduce interactive learning tools in government schools. These IFP screens are used to play and store audio-video content and are interactive in nature. While such devices are already in use in a few private and international schools, now all government school-going students will have access to such smart devices.

Prasad Ganta, School Assistant at ZP High School in Kakinada district, said that the initiatives brought in by the government have revolutionised teaching in government schools. “Usage of IFPs in classrooms is beneficial to both students and teachers. These tools will enhance learning processes and even make teaching methods simpler,” he explained.

How IFPs/ Digital Classrooms is a game changer in learning?

IFPs have been found to be more efficient in increasing children’s learning and retention. The interactive screen offers engaging audio and visual content which captivates students' attention and makes learning more enjoyable. Students can watch educational videos, listen to audio clips, participate in interactive quizzes, and engage in hands-on activities, catering to different learning styles and preferences.

Higher Retention, Better Learning: Digital Classrooms

In addition, IFPs can connect to the internet, enabling students in rural areas to access a vast range of educational resources, including online courses, digital textbooks, educational websites, and multimedia content. This access to high-quality educational material can significantly enrich their learning experience. It enables students to expand their imagination and think visually. It helps them to expand their horizon.

Bridging the Digital Divide

Thousands of other high school students like Sunita are all set to experience digital classrooms starting this academic year. Digital schools are important in imparting education in today’s era as they can help to bridge the digital divide by providing access to technology and online resources to children in rural areas. This can help these children stay up-to-date with the latest technologies and trends and to develop the skills they need to succeed.

Besides, it is also important to note that the state government has recently signed an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with the United States based firm ETS (Educational Testing Service) to train the students of Classes 3 to 9 in TOEFL, an examination prerequisite for admission into many foreign educational institutions in the US and European countries. This further asserts CM Jagan’s push for providing quality education.

For decades, government school students were denied access to even basic infrastructure like proper desks and toilets. After resuming power, the YSRCP govt did not only provide the best resources to children studying in the government schools but also left the private schools behind. Today, government schools have English labs, digital classrooms, projectors, and computers. Teachers are being trained to impart knowledge in the most effective way.

Today, the YSRCP government is “focusing on elevating the government schools to the level of corporate schools,” said Education Minister Botcha Satyanarayana. He added that a whopping Rs 16,000 crore has been spent on modernising schools under Nadu Nedu scheme.

Achieving CM Jagan’s vision of providing quality education to poor

The Andhra Pradesh government is also working towards introducing concepts such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, language modules and Chat GPT in the school curriculum in order to equip students with modern technologies. CM Jagan Mohan Reddy, while explaining his government’s latest initiatives, informed that a committee is exploring how these concepts can be inculcated in the syllabus. Speaking on the same, Prasad, the teacher quoted above, said that teaching concepts such as “Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics to high school students will make them aware of opportunities at a global level.”

“All these initiatives are revolutionary and have initiated a discussion on the importance of imparting quality education to all. It is favorable that education has gained prominence in the political discourse. No other government in Andhra Pradesh made education their priority. If these initiatives are continued, then it can create a multifold impact and put Andhra Pradesh several ranks ahead on academic charts,” said Prasad.

The Kakinada-based teacher further expresses that the implementation of such visionary schemes demonstrates how effective and essential it is to invest in education. He further shares CM Jagan’s approach to education and feels, “When money is invested in educating children, who are the future of the country, it brings higher returns rather than investing it on concrete buildings.”

Time and again, CM Jagan Mohan Reddy has shared his desire to provide quality education to all and doesn’t want any student to miss out due to financial restraints. Prasad added, “In several interactions with the teachers and students, CM has expressed that he wants all the Andhra Pradesh students to match international standards of education and wants to make them ready to face the world head-on.”

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