InterGlobe Aviation’s IndiGo School Adoption CSR program and IndiGo – GetSmart Mobile Digital Lab programs in collaboration with the SRF Foundation transform public schools into model schools.
Launched in March 2018 in 60 public schools and villages in four localities, namely: Indore, Greater Noida, Vadodara, Dehradun, the program was then extended to Dibrugarh, Assam, affecting 15 other schools.
To achieve “inclusion” in quality education, the IndiGo School Adoption Program focuses on transforming schools academically, digitally and through infrastructure upgrades.
Academically – personalized exercise books for children are provided to enhance classroom learning and understand concepts. In addition, the program provides training for teachers on 21st skills of the century, director leadership workshops, augmentation and development of the Academic Resource Center (ARC), academic mela, etc. to brag about the creativity of teaching and learning.
Digital mobile labs called ‘IndiGo GetSmart’ have been launched to disseminate digital literacy among students, youth and community members, as well as academic digital learning support for school students. As part of the infrastructure, schools have been equipped with appropriate sanitation, access to drinking water, libraries, scientific laboratories, BaLA paints, etc.
“Inclusion”, from an educational point of view, means that every child enjoys equal opportunities and quality education regardless of all discrimination of gender, caste, economic and social conditions.
A comprehensive education means discovering oneself, striving to innovate new things / ideas, and developing life skills that would help a child function in the real world that the program aims to provide to students.
Keeping the notion of “inclusion” central to its vision, the IndiGo School Adoption Program provides education to 2,459 students in 15 schools in Lahowal Block, Dibrugarh. Most of these students are from the indigenous communities of the Dibrugarh tea tribe.
In addition, through the IndiGo GetSmart Mobile Digital Lab initiative, IndiGo and the SRF Foundation provide access to digital literacy to young people in its intervention villages, bridging the digital divide and establishing a cornerstone for the inclusion of all. So far, 26,000 community members have benefited from IndiGo GetSmart in Dibrugarh alone.
Head of Chaulkhowa Middle School Dibrugarh Mr. Nana Ranjan Baruah said: “I am very satisfied with the intervention of IndiGo and the SRF Foundation in Dibrugarh. The program in its operation is inclusive for all, thus providing access to regular school education for students from all underserved communities.
It is important to note that the environment is one of the most important factors affecting student learning. An ideal learning environment is when students view their environment as positive, supportive, and well-equipped. Thus, to reach students who do not have access to education during this pandemic, the program prioritizes reaching as many students as possible via online mode.
Together with school authorities, teachers and government, the organization trains teachers and students in the use of digital platforms. In addition, regular interaction is made with the students to understand where they stand, their problems and their concerns.
Besides academics, students also participate in various extracurricular activities such as competitions, digital summer camps, online poetry recitations, etc. Parents are also an integral part of the learning process so that they are aware of their children’s progress and help motivate others to join the program as well.
The UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education (1960) and other international human rights treaties prohibit any exclusion and limitation of educational opportunities. Inclusive education aims to maximize the potential of all students by bringing them together in a classroom and community, regardless of their strengths and weaknesses.
According to data from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), around 258 million children and young people are out of school for the year 2018 worldwide. Statistics from MHRD 2009 indicate that around 80% of India’s population lives in rural areas with no schooling. This means that there are 8 million out-of-school children in India who are marginalized by dimensions of poverty, disability, gender and caste.
Engaging in reality always creates an optimistic outlook as it brings the possibility of meaningful change closer. The adaptations made by the IndiGo School Adoption Program and IndiGo GetSmart, coupled with opportunities to bridge the inclusiveness gap through infrastructural, digital and academic interventions, provide new avenues for students and change.