STEM Labs to develop a culture of innovation in government schools of Jharkhand

Ranchi: On the occasion of completing one year in office, Chief Minister Hemant Soren had announced on 29th December 2020 that under the ‘Aadarsh Vidyalaya Scheme’, a total of 27 existing government schools will be transformed into Model Schools.

Reiterating its commitment towards providing world-class education facilities in the state, the state government is developing STEM labs in government schools. As a pilot, the STEM labs are being installed in 5 blocks in Ranchi. Focusing on students who have a knack for math, science, and technology-related subjects, the labs will help impart students with practical learning and problem-solving ability based on the theories taught in regular classes.

Major underlying issues prevalent in the government schools include student attendance and overall learning outcomes. The government believes that such a project will help in terms of value addition and in creating an interactive atmosphere for students.

The project is being implemented through the innovation fund of state government and has been adopted in Ranchi district. According to an administration official, the labs will be open to students from all the government schools in the respective block. After evaluating the impact of this project, similar labs will be set up in all the blocks.

In many developed countries and developing countries around the world, STEM labs have become a norm, however, it is yet to become a regular practice in Indian schools. STEM is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines, Science and Technology, Engineering and Mathematics through an interdisciplinary and applied approach. Rather than teaching the four disciplines as a separate module, STEM integrates them into a cohesive learning paradigm based on real-world applications.

Traditional education pedagogy in India is still focused on Books and Numbers while very little importance is given to the practical implementation of these theories. This scenario changes with STEM education. The labs will give students the space to think freely and create something on their own.

To ensure that children of Jharkhand receive the international standard of education and become innovative, the government is taking steps towards providing applied learning space in government schools. The lab is equipped with different exhibits related to the subject module taught in the curriculum of the schools, such as Pinhole Camera, LED-based heart, Eye Model, Ear Model, Infinity Wall, Sound in different mediums, Layer of Soils, Solar System, Hand Pump, Solar Power System, Hydro Turbine, Motor model, Sensor Setup, Telescope, Generator, Skeleton System, Newton’s law of motion set up, Biodiversity set up, Different types of robots, Projector, Tab, Interactive Computing device, etc.

Apart from value addition to the Schools, Along with the various components like a library, laboratory, smart classes, another major focus area for the administration is to build upon the capacity of teachers. All the teachers deputed in these schools will be given hands-on training before the final hand over. This will not only enhance the level of quality education in government schools but it will also work as a motivating force for the teachers to learn a new way of teaching.

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