by Sibabrata Choudhury, Aveti Learning
Fifteen-year-old Deepak aspires to be a Software Engineer. A student of Std X in Unit 8 High school in Bhubaneswar, Deepak was spending anxious days since classes were suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Ever since the shutdown because of the virus scare, educational systems have been turned upside down and the authorities have been trying various options to ensure that students stay up-to-date with their course of studies. Though the teachers used to send lessons and guide students during the times when schools were closed, there is no parallel to classroom teaching.
When schools reopened in January 2021, Deepak and his friends were in for a pleasant surprise! The students were greeted to a brand new and improved classroom — all fitted with a digital projector, engaging video content and a quality sound system. Learning lessons over a screen and lively visuals has its own effect. All this was possible because of the MO School Abhiyan and contributions by a generous Alumni of the school. Within a span of little over three weeks, smart classes were established in four High Schools in Bhubaneswar in Dec 2020, just in time for students to learn when schools reopened in Jan 2021.
In this case, Mrs. Namrata Patnaik, who now resides in California, USA contributed for setting up of smart classes in Odisha. The proposal was approved by Mo School Abhiyan in the Monthly Board Meeting in Dec 2020 with the sanction of matching grants. This is the best part of Mo School Abhiyan, a unique initiative of Government of Odisha that fosters alumni and individuals to contribute for the development of infrastructure and teaching environment in the schools in Odisha. In the first phase, Digital Smart Classes have been established in four Schools in Bhubaneswar — Unit 8 Boys High School, University High School, Unit 9 Boys High School and Unit 1 High School.
For teachers such as Niharbala and Pramila digital teaching was a new concept. Aveti Team conducted capacity building and orientation session for the Teachers to help them adapt to the new teaching method. Within a few practice sessions most of the teachers are now experts in navigating through the lessons on the smart class module.
Smart Class or digital classroom teaching is the modern way of teaching — appreciated and accepted by the Teachers and students alike — students like the audio-visual explanatory videos which helps them to remember better. Niharbala Rout who teaches Science says that the classes are now livelier and students are eager to attend classes. Now science experiments are fun to learn and the pool of questions is a boon for the class as the children are practicing multiple times.
Thanks to the Mo School Abhiyan and the contribution from Mrs. Namrata Patnaik, smart classes were established in 4 schools of Bhubaneswar benefiting nearly 500 students studying in Std. X to avail the best quality content and use of modern technology. This was possible through a chance encounter with Mrs. Sushmita Bagchi, Chairperson Mo School who introduced the idea to Namrata.
While one donor provided the seed money, Mo School provided the platform and Aveti Learning facilitated the installation process in the four schools. The contribution, efforts and support from all the four High Schools cannot be discounted. It was definitely a team effort.
The chance to give back, to change lives, to make a difference in the opportunities young people are offered has never been easier. Like Mrs. Patnaik, we invite all those with a heart to raise quality of education to reach out and see what is possible. For a relatively small amount of money, the impact on a large number of lives is now possible. To learn more, visit