MoU for Digital Transformation of Tribal Schools

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    The Ministry of Tribal Affairs and Microsoft have signed an MoU for digital transformation of Tribal Schools such as Eklavya Model Residential Schools and Ashram Schools.

    • Under the program, 250 Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRS) have been adopted by Microsoft out of which 50 EMRS schools will be given intensive training.

    Key Points

    • The MoU was signed in an online event “Empowering Youth For Success”.
    • The collaboration seeks to skill educators and students in next-generation digital technologies including Artificial Intelligence (AI). 
    • The students from schools under the Ministry will be mentored on projects that involve AI applications for societal good and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 
    • Students would get the required skill set through digital transformation and it would open a new chapter with AI and coding being a part of the curriculum.
    • Teachers will also be trained for using productivity technologies like Office 365 and AI applications in teaching, helping them deliver blended or remote learning experiences to students in a more personalized, productive and secure manner. 

    Significance

    • Students will be better prepared for representing themselves and whole country at international forums
    • It will help in bridging the gap between tribal students and others.
    • Better knowledge and understanding of digital means of education and over all technical know-how will be provided.
    • India is aspiring to become a hub for Artificial Intelligence (AI). This move will definitely strengthen its stand.
    • It will help the tribal students in maintaining continuity in their education in this lockdown period.

    Way Forward

    • This program will prove beneficial in terms of readiness, preparedness of the students at various international forums. 
    • The initiative will also enable the professional development of educators, enabling them to use technology in classrooms.
    • It is a step to enable education equity, providing equal opportunity and access for the next generation of learners and educators from schools under the Ministry.
    • At the same time, for the success of the Digital India Mission, every segment of the society needs to be empowered.

    Eklavya Model Residential School (EMRS)

    • It is a Government of India scheme for model residential schools for Indian tribals (Scheduled Tribes, ST) across India. 
    • It was started in the year 1997-98 by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs.
    • The objective is to impart quality education to ST children in remote areas in order to enable them to avail of opportunities in high and professional educational courses and get employment in various sectors. 
    • The grants were given for construction of schools and recurring expenses to the State Governments under Grants under Article 275 (1) of the Constitution.
    • Every block with more than 50% ST population and at least 20,000 tribal persons will have an EMRS by the end of 2022. 
    • Each school has a capacity of 480 students, catering to students from Class VI to XII
    • Wherever density of ST population is higher in identified Sub-Districts (90% or more), it is proposed to set up Eklavya Model Day Boarding School (EMDBS) on an experimental basis for providing additional scope for ST Students seeking to avail school education without residential facility.
    • Eklavya schools will be on par with Navodaya Vidyalaya and will have special facilities for preserving local art and culture besides providing training in sports and skill development. 

    Source: PIB