Vice President Venkaiah Naidu launches 100 Digital Classrooms in 75 Rural Government Schools in Gwalior District

Gwalior: The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that Technology brings transparency, prosperity and opportunities for rural youth. He was addressing the gathering after launching 100 Digital Classrooms in 75 Rural Government Schools in Gwalior district under ‘Mera School Digital School’ programme, in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh today. The Union Minister for Rural Development, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, the Minister for Higher Education, Govt. of Madhya Pradesh, Shri Jaibhan Singh Pawaiya, the Minister for Urban Development and Housing, Govt. of Madhya Pradesh, Smt. Maya Singh and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.

The Vice President said that India’s future is bright because it rests on the innovative abilities of our younger generation. He further said that connecting rural students with digital technology will change their lives as technology gives them access to information, opportunities at par with those living in urban areas and helps them become part in the process of Nation Building. Technology is an equalizer it has the potential to bring transparency, prosperity and opportunities for rural youth, he added.

Lauding the efforts of Government and the NGOs, the Vice President said that education is essential for enhancement of knowledge, economic progress and empowerment. He stressed on the need to provide education to all the girls, especially in rural areas.

The Vice President said that these digital classrooms will help students understand the complexities if science and Mathematics better. Audio-visual content and the support of internet will help them immensely, he added.

The Vice President said that if knowledge is power and education a deliverance from ignorance and poverty, then teachers are the agents of social change and schools are social assets and education a community resource. These digital intervention have made schools truly social assets, he added.

Following is the text of Vice President’s address:

“Any adventure into the realm of fresh ideas is an exhilarating experience. It fills you with hope for exciting opportunities. It is a very positive experience. And I am experiencing exactly the same sublime feeling, as I join you in inaugurating this project of 100 Digital Classes in Madhya Pradesh.

This project has proved that India’s future is bright because it rests on the innovative abilities of our younger generation. They have the drive to make a difference. They have ideas and vision for their country. We only have to provide the facilitative framework to make them realize their dreams.

The story is really remarkable.

A group of youngsters came together to teach children in an orphanage over weekend- By itself a commendable initiative- But they didn’t stop at that. With the generous help of a socially conscious Company, they scaled up their initiative to make it a social start-up. Two concepts that are currently in vogue – Corporate Social Responsibility and Start-up programme have gained a remarkable relevance and salience. Kindling the imagination of our youth and motivating them to become entrepreneurs is the need of the hour. I appreciate the achievement of Shri Abhishek Dubey and his team of 250 volunteers who have shown an incredible passion to educate young boys of three districts-Gwalior, Bhopal and Indore. It is heartening to learn that these 100 rural schools will transform the learning experience of some 15000 students and 300 teachers.I also compliment Hindustan Zink Ltd. for their social consciousness and activism.

Sisters and brothers,

Governments have been constantly trying to improve the school infrastructure but there is much more to be done. The results of independent surveys of learning outcomes in village schoolsshow that quality of learning is a matter of great concern in many schools, especially in rural areas.

Most often, children find arithmetic difficult and develop a lifelong aversion. We need new ways of teaching. We must focus on concept formation and application of knowledge. We must promote active learning and enable children to learn by discoursing, questioning and experimenting.

Many of our rural schools lack requisite infrastructure for science education.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to find and retain good maths and science teachers for village schools. Science and Maths are not even offered as subjects for want of subject teachers in higher classes in these schools. This imbalance in school education must be corrected to develop the scientific temper in our society.

Fortunately, we have many digital tools that can improve the quality of education in our schools. With Digital Classrooms equipped with multimedia environment, abstract scientific concepts like configuration of atoms or biological Cells, movement of electro-magnetic waves, can be easily understood. A three-dimensional multi-media digital projection can make children understand a complex mathematical equation or a scientific concept very easily.

Sisters and brothers,

If knowledge is power and education a deliverance from ignorance and poverty, then teachers are the agents of social change. Schools are social assets and education a community resource. Your digital intervention has made schools truly social assets.

Technology, more so the Digital Technology, by itself has a great democratising impact over society. It has linked insulated communities with information highways and World Wide Web networks. It has delivered the power of knowledge to people on their handheld smart phones.

Quality education with the help of digital technology can be delivered on various mobile devices. It will make quality education widespread and inclusive. It will open new horizons and enhance access to knowledge to school students in remote villages. Technology helps us transcend the limitations of space and time. One can now learn anywhere, anytime and virtually in any language one wants.

I believe you will also be teaching English to the students. It is a welcome step. However, do take care to ensure that the child learns his or her mother tongue first. Every language has its own rich vocabulary and distinct grammar. Every language bears the creative wisdom of ages.I hope you will create a conducive learning environment in these schools where children start learning in their mother tongue and gradually learn English and other languages.

Your initiative will require regular development of content, using multimedia technology, in an imaginative way. This will not only require expert content writers but also graphic designers, animators etc. I am sure with the requisite skill sets, you will be able to set an example in using the hidden powers of technology to transform learning.

I will also suggest that, education and skill development should be part of all education programmes.

I am hopeful that soon you will be able to expand your foot prints and area of activity to cover 1000 schools located in rural and semi-urban areas. You will be able to bridge the knowledge and skill gap between rural and urban education. It will be great service to the society if you could improve the learning outcomes in these schools.

मुझे आशा है कि आप शिक्षा के क्षेत्र में ग्रामीण शहरी अंतर को समाप्त करने में सफल होंगे। ग्रामीण क्षेत्रों के स्कूलों के Learning Outcomesमें सुधार आ सकेगा। आपका यह प्रयास child-friendly, child centered educationके क्षेत्र में नया माडल स्थापित करेगा। मैं आपको और हिन्दुस्तान जिंक लिमिटेड को आपके भावी सामाजिक सरोकारों में सफलता के लिए शुभकामनाऐं देता हूं। आपने मुझे अपने विचार और अपेक्षाऐं साझा करने के लिए आमंत्रित किया इसके लिए आभार व्यक्त करता हूं।

Jai Hind!”