Maharashtra: Initiative launched to make rural schools digitally literate
In A bid to bridge the social and digital divide in education, the Maharashtra government on Saturday launched the Majhi e-Shala mission in all government schools in rural areas. The initiative, which seeks to enhance e-literacy, will involve setting up state-of-the-art digital classrooms in zilla parishad schools across the state, officials attached with Samagra Shiksha Programme, a Maharashtra government educational initiative, told mid-day.
As per the department, as part of the first phase, the state government has identified 500 schools in Thane, Raigad, Osmanabad and Palghar districts. “Bringing more and more government schools, students and teachers under the digital umbrella is our goal. This is why we have taken up the Majhi e-Shala mission,” said an official. The Samagra Shiksha and Maharashtra Prathamik Shikshan Parishad (MPSP) have collaborated with Pratham InfoTech Foundation to make the mission a success.
According to MPSP officials, under the multi-faceted programme, the school education department will offer free e-content. “This will help students and teachers at these schools learn about and develop the necessary abilities to use educational technology in the classroom and adapt to the new-age learning methods,” an official said.
Talking to mid-day, Kailash Pagare, IAS officer and project director at Samagra Shiksha said, “We have learnt the importance of digital education during the COVID-19 pandemic when schools in rural areas were struggling to get access to online education. We wish to bridge this digital divide through this initiative and enable schools in rural areas to get familiar with online teaching and learning methods. The recently inaugurated pilot will include 500 schools in four districts. Next year, we will try to replicate this in the maximum number of schools.”
Over 1,000 teachers from these schools will be trained in education technology in the first phase. By 2024-25, the education department plans to transform 5,000-plus schools and digitise 10,000 classrooms across the state. According to MPSP, more than five lakh students are estimated to benefit from this initiative.