New Delhi: The Indian Army, which also runs 136 schools across the country, will now partner with at least one government-run or government-supported school to lend a hand to the country’s public education sector.
The initiative is being undertaken by the ‘Vidyanjali’ scheme run by the Ministry of Education, Government of India.
Sources in the defence and security establishment told ThePrint the move would entail the army schools helping the government ones through a ‘mentor-mentee role’.
The sources further added that the schools will be provided with help in various capacities by the Indian Army, including infrastructure development and logistics management, along with support via initiatives of the Army Welfare Education Society (AWES).
These initiatives are related to inclusive education, gifted children programs, and boosting scientific rigour through Atal Labs and Math and Science Laboratories.
Additionally, sources said that “136 schools have already been identified and Army Public Schools with due consultations with the Ministry of Education have carried out liaison for registration and participation in the activities, under this initiative.”
The army will also focus on helping teachers at the schools through various training and up-skilling programmes. These will include foundation literacy courses, and enable the use of technology to teach and assess students. The courses also envisage an exchange of best practices between the Army schools and the ones they mentor.
“The programme will also focus on soft skill development including cross-visits by teachers and volunteer parents, as well as joint participation in sports, debates, and other extra co-curricular activities,” the source added.
With around 2.3 lakh students and 8,500 teaching staff, there are currently 136 Army Public Schools (APS) across the country and on average 5,000 students are added every year. The system of having multiple schools for the children of armed forces personnel under the different regional commands was formalised in 1980.
The schools impart curriculum in accordance with the NCERT and are affiliated with the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).
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