Odisha: Mobile schools to bridge learning gap during pandemic

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has launched School Sanjog Programme, an initiative of mobile schools in van for class I-V students from Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG) communities.

The pandemic induced compulsion of classroom learning being shifted to online learning, has denied education to many children in PVTG areas, due to lack of access to smart phones or internet connection, said an official here on Thursday.

Through this mobile school in van initiative, which is aimed at reaching out to children in PVTG communities, would not only help maintain continuity in learning but also can address prevention of school dropout, the official said.

ST and SC development minister Jagannath Saraka said proper education has always been a challenge for children in PVTG communities and the situation has worsened due to closure of schools on account of the pandemic.

Thus, the School Sanjog Programme will make a significant move towards reaching out to the children in PVTG areas, who are missing out on learning, he said.

ST & SC development department, Principal secretary Ranjana Chopra said, “This is an attempt to ensure continued learning will be a significant move in helping children return to schools after they reopen. This innovative approach is timely and much needed in this hour of education emergency.”

The mobile school in a van is designed to be visually appealing and is equipped with child friendly learning material such as audio-visual equipments, books for class I-V students, science kits, sports kits, and hygiene education kits to ensure children engage in joyful and memorable learning activities, run in the presence of trained volunteers in an open space. Each session will last for two hours.

The government is targeted to reach out to about 40,000 children in 1,000 villages of PVTG communities in ten districts of Odisha (Keonjhar, Jajpur, Mayurbhanj, Angul, Gajapati, Rayagada, Kalahandi, Malkangiri, Kandhamal and Ganjam).

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