He is Syed Aabid Hussain Rizwi, a principal of Army Goodwill School, Boniyar in Kashmir. This school is located in a village which is just a stone throw away from the India-Pakistan border and falls under the Sikh Regiment.
Under the partnership with Power Grid and the Indian Army in 2021, we had set up TABLAB (Tablet-based Smart ICT Lab) and Smart Class in various Army Goodwill Schools in Kashmir. The project’s objective was to provide uninterrupted learning as the region faces a lot of political unrest and regular internet outage. AGS Boniyar was also one such school covered under the project.
While our teams were visiting the school for the set up and training, we got into a discussion with Rizvi Sir. What he shared next is unfortunately are challenges in education system faced by majority of teachers and government schools across Kashmir. Adding to this, Kashmir literacy rate is also very low in comparison to many other states. But with little innovation and a basic understanding of the natural psychology of our teachers, we can fine tune the solutions such that they can empower our teachers to do their work easily, efficiently and bring about the desired educational outcomes. Read on to find out how.
One significant issue that was being faced by teachers of his school:
Not able to use already available hardware due to complex functioning and unavailability of relevant offline content
As per our discussion with teachers of the school, we found that it was very difficult for them to conduct classes using their existing hardware as the system takes 10 minutes to boot and arrive at the home screen. Further, entering personal details and passwords every time is also a time-consuming process for them. One of the teachers mentioned,
“When I access learning material, I get stuck on one type of content, and switching again to different content is restricted with passwords. So, to avoid this hassle, I prefer teaching with textbooks in hand”.
Our discussion with Principal Rizvi Ji, after the implementation of TABLAB and Smart Class
“Implementation of TABLAB and Smart Class has solved the long-pending problem of the school by making the teaching process very easy through a single login feature that gives access to all types of content to a teacher. Now teachers in the school are well aware of the content they need to teach in every class; thus, they don’t waste time accessing passwords or in the search for relevant content. Now teachers just plug and play the classroom sessions,” said Principle Rizwi Ji.
Further, he added,
“High-quality animated video lessons, assessments and books on life stories, poems, and inspirational biographies in Smart Class keep students intact and encourage interaction; thus has eliminated two main challenges of the school that is decreasing student engagement and increasing absenteeism”.
What enabled this to happen?
We simplified the usage of the application by setting up one local server where all type of content is uploaded and is accessible to all teachers via a single login. This made teachers more comfortable with using the learning application, and they now are able to use different types of content without the need for repeated logins
Content navigation became easy because of the availability of the option to use the platform in teacher preferred language. When teachers see that they can use the platform in a language that they are comfortable with, they naturally wish to access that content and teach through it.
State Board Aligned Digital Content:
The digital content provided both on the tablets and the smart classes have been provided in both Hindi and English medium and more importantly is aligned with the J&K Board syllabus. This enables teachers to integrate their lesson plans with the digital content available on the platform and hence makes it easy for them to supplement their teaching with digital
Engaging classrooms Content:
To suit different teaching pedagogies and learning styles, multiple categories of digital content have been provided on the platform. There are videos to build concepts, digital syllabus books to refer to anytime, notes for quick revision, DIY project videos for practical and fun learning, stories, poems, and biographies for holistic growth, and MCQ style Practice questions for an interactive classroom experience and personalised mastery development on different topics
Availability of Monthly Reports:
To ensure regular usage of digital content in smart class we share monthly usage reports of students and that of smart class with the teachers and with the principal. This helps them keep track of their teachers’ involvement in digital content in classrooms and also their student’s engagement on the tablets.
Here’s the video link of Shri Rizvi ji sharing his observations and experiences with us:
Education in Kashmir faces paralysis because of unpredictable conditions like politics instability, regular internet outages, lack of resources and many more such issues. Hence, going forward, we expect that this new digital learning set up will transform the way students learn and teachers teach collectively to improve overall educational outcomes.
If in case you would like to know more about TABLAB and Smart Class, please write to us at email@example.com. You can also leave your comments below and we will be happy to get back to you.