DEVELOPING SCIENTIFIC TEMPER | Govt setting up virtual reality labs in schools

The J&K government has taken various decisions aimed at bringing reforms in the school and higher education sector.
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Srinagar: In a significant development, the School Education Department (SED) is setting up one virtual reality laboratory in each district of Jammu and Kashmir with an aim of developing scientific temper among the school-going children.

The Virtual Reality laboratories have been sanctioned under the innovation component of Samagra Shiksha scheme and project cost of each laboratory is Rs 10 lakh.

“The Ministry of Education last year sanctioned 20 such laboratories and one laboratory is being set up in each district. The work is going on in every district,” an official said.

He said that the laboratory would be set up in a higher secondary school of each district for which the Department of School Education and Literacy (DSEL), Government of India has set up 21 parameters for selecting the school.

“If the initiative works well at district level, then the GoI will sanction more such virtual reality labs and one laboratory will be set up in each zone. The focus is to shift from traditional to digital mode of education,” the official said.

Besides the establishment of virtual reality labs, the J&K SED has already started setting up Atal Tinkering Laboratories (ATLs) in schools across J&K.

Niti Aayog and Innovation Mission (AIM) have sanctioned around 500 such labs for schools in J&K to nurture an innovative mindset among high school students.

The J&K government has taken various decisions aimed at bringing reforms in the school and higher education sector.

The implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP)-2020 was one such decision under which special emphasis is being laid on new skills, research, innovation, and future technology under the guidance of the Higher Education Council (HEC).

“Educational trips are being organised which provide new opportunities to the students to explore wealth of knowledge and learning beyond the four walls of classrooms,” the official said.

Also, pre-primary classes have been started in more than 15,000 schools under which emphasis has been laid on Early Childhood Care Education (ECCE).

“The introduction of pre primary classes in government schools will strengthen each government school from the kindergarten section,” the official said.

As per the official figures, the enrollment of government schools has increased by 17.2 percent following the SED’s launch of Aao School Chale campaign.

“More than 95,000 Out of School Children have been through the Talaash app and efforts are being made to re-enroll them in schools,” the official document reads.

Over the past few years, the J&K SED has also laid focus on education of girls and construction of around 35 girls’ hostels has been completed.

“The department is working tirelessly for the holistic development of tribal communities, providing and securing their rights promoting entrepreneurship amongst tribal youth and women, identifying challenges, pursuing research activities for capacity building for the social, economic, and educational empowerment of our tribal community,” the official document reads.

The government has paced up the construction of hostels as eight new hostels have been inaugurated and foundation stones of 25 hostels have been laid as well.

“Around 200 smart schools have been developed for better arrangements for the education of the future generations of the tribal community,” the official document reads.

Last year, the J&K administration granted scholarships worth Rs 32.50 crore to tribal students and this year, an outlay of Rs 52 crore has been decided for disbursement among tribal students as well.

“Six Eklavya Residential Model Schools and 1873 seasonal schools have been established for ensuring quality education for tribal migratory students,” the official document reads.

An official said that smartcards were being provided to all migrant families as well.

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