The Srinagar district administration has embarked on an ambitious project to upgrade 180 government-run schools as "smart schools" by equipping them with modern amenities and learning tools, officials said.
The overall objective of the project is to improve the learning outcome of public schools and bring them at par with private schools, they said.
A dedicated team has been constituted for the planning, implementation and monitoring of the project, to be completed within six months at a cost of Rs 6 crore, they said.
Under the project, a part of the Jammu and Kashmir government's 'Back to Village' programme, the administration will upgrade infrastructure of these schools and improve learning outcome through a range of interventions, including capacity building of teachers.
Some of interventions being made are refurbishing of buildings where required, upgrading of furniture and equipment, round-the-clock power and water supplies, and establishment of libraries, science laboratories, IT labs and smart classes, the officials said.
They said other highlights of the project are HR management, capacity building and training of teachers, continuous evaluation and society involvement, sporting infrastructure and games, skills labs, and innovation grant.
Before embarking on upgrade of the 180 schools — 120 in urban areas and 60 in rural areas of the district — the administration conducted a pilot project and modernised 25 schools during the last fiscal.
At a review meeting here, Srinagar Deputy Commissioner Shahid Iqbal Choudhary said the project was close to his heart and added that everything necessary would be done for modernising the schools.
"The district administration is keen on equipping these schools with the latest facilities and transforming them on modern lines…the aim being to improve the learning outcome in the public school domain," Choudhary said.
The work has been started in around 100 of these schools located in both urban and rural areas of the district, he said.
The meeting was informed that funds have been released in favour of 25 schools located in urban Srinagar.
Another 70 schools, which have already been partly equipped with modern facilities under the centrally sponsored Samagra Shiksha scheme, will receive the required funding in due course, the officials said.
Headmasters of 25 schools that were upgraded under the pilot project attended the meeting and shared their experiences and feedback, the officials said.
These 25 smart schools will be provided additional facilities for further upgrade, they said.
In each rural block of the district, 15 schools have been identified for upgrade through the respective gram sabha, they said.