In a visionary move, the School Education Department of Tamil Nadu (TN) is poised to usher in a digital era in primary and middle government schools. As the academic year kicks off in June 2024, classrooms are slated to undergo a transformative shift, becoming smart spaces enriched with audiovisual learning materials.
Massive investment for State-of-the-Art infrastructure
According to The New Indian Express report, a whopping Rs 700 crore investment has been earmarked by the Tamil Nadu school education department for the installation of smart classrooms in 25,000 primary schools and hi-tech labs in 7,904 middle schools. The comprehensive plan includes the incorporation of interactive display panels, cameras, and essential facilities in primary schools, while middle school hi-tech labs will each boast ten computers.
The Tamil Nadu Textbook and Educational Services Corporation have initiated the tendering process, encompassing a five-year plan that integrates both operation and maintenance. Highlighting the significance of this inclusion, a senior official from the Tamil Nadu School Education Department stated, “While we have hi-tech labs in high and higher secondary schools already, we have encountered challenges in maintaining the facilities. To tackle this, we have included operation and maintenance as part of the tender for the first five years.”
Accelerated implementation for uniform learning
As per the reports, originally allocated Rs 275 crore for phased implementation, the government has expedited the project to ensure uniform learning. Elementary education director S Kannappan revealed that 75,000 primary and middle school teachers will receive tablets, facilitating material sharing and access to department-provided content for class preparation.
To streamline instructional material delivery, central command centres will be established, accompanied by a dedicated help desk at the department's call center for maintenance-related inquiries. Comprehensive training sessions for teachers on facility usage are also on the agenda. Addressing staffing shortages in middle schools, an administrator or teacher will be assigned for maintenance.
In support of this digital transformation, the Samagra Shiksha program has urged primary and middle schools to establish broadband connections with a minimum speed of 30 Mbps and a maximum monthly cost of Rs 1,500. The move signals a paradigm shift in Tamil Nadu's education system, promising an immersive and technologically advanced learning environment for students and educators alike.