Bhubaneswar: Noted edupreneur Bijaya Kumar Sahoo, who was appointed as advisor to the Odisha Adarsha Vidyalaya Sangathan (OAVS) by the State Government in June this year, is hopeful of positioning the Adarsha league of schools among the recognised brands in the country in the coming years.
In an interview to Odisha Bytes, Sahoo, the founder of the SAI International School in the city, said the core mantra lies in inspiring principals and teachers and exposing the children to global teaching modules while achieving academic excellence.
The Sangathan aims to set up a model CBSE-affiliated English medium school in each of the 314 blocks in the State by the end of the ongoing academic session. Adarsha school is a dream project of the Naveen Patnaik government to provide quality education in far-flung and remote areas of the State.
What is your vision for the Adarsha schools?
A. My target is to make each one of them a good English medium school with quality faculty, infrastructure and good teacher-learning process. These schools should not only be academic-oriented but also good in extracurricular activities, sports and have a holistic personality development programme. They should inspire children to take up vocational education and channelise bright minds into the science stream.
Apart from these basic objectives, my other focus will be to ensure that standardised procedures and manuals are in place, students and teachers are punctual and assessment examinations conducted on time and regularly. Last but not least, principals and teachers have to attend regular training classes.
How do you propose to make these happen?
A. The leaders have to be inspired. I have to keep the principals and teachers of all the 314 schools inspired. I have to inculcate in them a sense of belongingness where bright ideas can germinate and healthy discourse can take place. I will strive to bring in a sense of competitiveness among the schools and create a healthy platform for this. If I am able to fulfil this, my target is achieved.
These would make the schools icons for the rest of the country and the Adarsha model could be replicated by other states in the next 4-5 years.
Are you in talks with any players for industry collaboration?
A. One of my first objectives was to reach out to the best players, who are pioneers in the field of education. Google India, Adobe India and Cambridge English have agreed to sign an MoU with the Odisha government and the Adarsha Vidyalaya to offer the best of teaching modules in the classrooms. Moreover, they have agreed to give free assistance to every child and every school.
Can you elaborate on the partnerships?
A. Google has ‘Google classroom’ and ‘Google suits’ technology. Under the partnership, they will give free Google suit to every child and teacher. Besides, Google classroom facility will be extended to every school. Adobe will also extend similar facilities. The resources of the world will be available in the Adarsha classes so that no student or teacher is deprived of getting the best teaching-learning module.
How many Adarsha schools are running now? Will all of 314 schools start functioning by the end of this academic calendar?
A. As of now, 194 schools have started functioning and construction in other locations is in full swing. I am confident that by the end of this year, they will be all up and running.
How are the existing schools faring?
A. The first batch from the Adarsha schools sat for Class X board examination this year and the pass percentage was 76-77 per cent. The topper was from Koraput district and she has scored 98.5 per cent. This is a big achievement for Adarsha schools.