SMART Schools & Classrooms with SMART standards
In 2019, the Government of India launched an initiative for NGOs to have a deeper impact on the education system as well as the children who graduate from it. The idea of a SMART school was designed to implement changes from infrastructure to technology and more. Most schools selected for the program were from rural areas. These efforts intended to raise the value of government schools amidst a rise in private education. Children of struggling families will be able to obtain a higher standard of education powered by engaging learning experiences, without the financial burden of pursuing a private school.
The plan includes investing in resources that will ramp up the technology, provide interactive learning tools, and build safer and stronger infrastructure. Sahaita has committed to converting 2 schools to SMART schools.
One is an elementary school in Naru Nangal, Hoshiarpur district. During the 2020 volunteer visit to Punjab, Dr. Sandhu and Dr. Aulakh kicked off efforts with a health clinic (ENT, dental, eye) while volunteer Sarup Jhajj handed out backpacks, notebooks, and care packages. The students performed their morning routine of singing, poetry, and words of encouragement. No matter their walks of life, these kids were beaming with positivity and Sahaita is proud to enrich their education. Once they can return to school, Sahaita plans to arrange a library, computer room, and a science park.
The second is Bule Nangal in Amritsar. Due to COVID, plans for upgrading this institution were set on pause. In poor shape, the school will likely require infrastructure repair, hiring more teachers to better serve the students, and curriculum immersed in technology and multimedia.
SMART classrooms at Patiala School for the Deaf and Blind
Although the SMART school program was intended for government (public) schools, Sahaita took this opportunity to apply similar standards to 6 classrooms at the Patiala School for Deaf & Blind. These improvements are unique in nature as they gravitate toward sensory learning. Sahaita implemented new audio/visual setups with LCD monitors and special computer programs.