OdishaPlus Bureau

“Earlier we used to sit on old desks & benches while teachers used black board to teach us. Now, our school has transformed totally. We sit in modern well-lit classrooms and use smartboard for learning. It makes very easy to learn and understand our lessons,” says Pratibha Saura, a student of Class 10 at the Meghdega Govt High School in Sundargarh district.

Similarly, another Class 10 Student at Deokaranpur Govt High School in Sundargarh, Devraj Mahanandia shares, “Our school has got a modern science lab as part of High School Transformation program. The equipment that we used to see in textbooks earlier, is now available at our disposal for hands-on learning. This makes the lessons more interesting and increases our zeal for studying.

Like Pratibha from Meghdega and Devraj from Deokaranpur, many students studying in government high schools in the tribal majority Sundargarh district now have a chance at better career opportunities unlocked with the help of High School Transformation Program under 5T. With a total makeover of schools as part of state government’s flagship High School Transformation Program under 5T, the high school students have got wings to their dreams and can aspire to become future doctor, engineer, scientist, teacher, bureaucrats, etc.

The High School Transformation Programme is a unique program under the 5T initiative. School infrastructure is being made anew and surroundings being beautified as part of High School Transformation. Provision of smart classroom, advanced science lab, ICT Lab & e-Library, modern library, separate toilets for boys & girls, development of playground and sports infrastructure is another facet of the High School Transformation Programme.

383 Govt High Schools are present in Sundargarh District. Among the same, 21 High Schools managed under the ST & SC Development, Minorities and Backward Classes Welfare Department and ITDA Sundargarh sport a fresh look and new ambience. This has roused the interest of tribal students and infused new zeal for studies among them.

Govt High Schools functioning under the aegis of Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA) Sundargarh have been equipped with modern science labs. Special attention is being paid to orient students in various streams such as Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) right from the high school level. With modern science labs, students now get a chance to physically experiment with various equipment, tools and models and learn hands-on.

Telescope & microscope, human body model, plant & animal cell model, metal separator, etc have been provided in these STEM model science labs for use of the students. Similarly, for various science experiments, robotics kit, electronic kit etc is also being provided.

“All Govt High Schools of Sundargarh functioning under the ST & SC Development Department have been renovated. This has helped provide new avenue of learning for tribal students in the district. Modern science labs, ICT lab and other interventions have helped to build students’ dreams for a better career opportunity”, says Pabitra Mohan Pradhan, District Welfare Officer, Sundargarh.

Additionally, all govt high schools feature a functional Information & Communication Technology (ICT) lab. The students are getting trained in computer education right from the high school level. Moreover, students can use internet at these labs and avail e-Library facilities.

Similarly, the high schools in Sundargarh district now sport lush green playgrounds. Apart from providing quality education, the students are now being groomed to represent Odisha at the state & national levels. Besides, safe drinking water and clean toilets have been provisioned for the students as well as teachers.

“High School Transformation Program is one among the state government’s long-term vision and action plan. The programme has not only revamped the teaching & learning methodology in Govt High Schools but also created opportunity for students to develop their skills in various domains. The modern learning pedagogy implemented through the initiative will be a catalyst to fulfilling the career dreams of students”, says Karna Majhi, Head Master of Deokaranpur Govt High School Sundargarh.

Till now, in 2 phases, 247 transformed high schools have been dedicated for the people in the tribal dominated Sundargarh district. 21 Govt High Schools supported by ITDA Sundargarh have also been dedicated among the same.

As part of the High School Transformation Program, the school infrastructure is being augmented while the school boundary and walls are being painted to look more attractive. The paintings & quotes of legendary figures like Swami Vivekananda, Mahatma Gandhi, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, Madhusudan Das, Gopandhu Das, Gangadhar Meher & Bhima Bhoi etc adorning the walls of various Govt High Schools in Sundargarh district has turned to a source of inspiration for students.