Transforming The Education Landscape: Odisha Preparing Its Citizens of Tomorrow

Bhubaneswar: Odisha is on the cusp of becoming the destination next in the country in terms of economic growth, social development, poverty eradication, women empowerment and bringing in transformation to change the lives of its citizens. In the core of all these transformative efforts lies a commitment of the leadership that sees its citizens as a family of four and half crore people. Their destiny is being shaped today through definitive steps. One of the most important areas where Odisha is focusing today is the education sector. It is a reality that investment in education today will give back in the future. It will prepare citizens who will contribute to the development of the state. Odisha has seen a massive transformation in the last two decades in almost all sectors that touch the lives of the common man.

Under the leadership of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, the state of Odisha is on the verge of breaking through the ceiling of backwardness and reaching new heights. Especially after Chef Minister Naveen Patnaik’s fifth term, the transformation process accelerated and focus on the holistic development of the education sector. The government has taken up transformative efforts in Healthcare, Heritage, Governance, Infrastructure, Sports and all those areas that affect the common man. Now the time has come for transformation of the most important sector that will shape its destiny in the future – Education.

In the last few years, Odisha’s thrust has been on transforming the education sector in the state. The Government of Odisha has initiated a number of efforts that have already started bearing fruits. The Government has effected a huge increase in the allocation of resources for the education sector. To further transform the education and skill development ecosystem in Odisha, the State Government has allocated funds worth Rs 27,324 crore in the Budget for the 2022-23 financial year. The current budget allocation registers an increment of 12% from previous financial year’s budget. In order to make the schools of the state at par with the developed societies, the government of Odisha has taken the initiative to transform the schools of the state under the ambitious 5T Initiatives. It aims to improving the standards of school education and bring about equity in the education system. Keeping in tune with the modern times, again the thrust is on digital transformation, innovative partnerships and investments in skills development.

In the last three years, the government of Odisha led by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has appointed about 14,000 teachers in State Government schools and has approved the appointment of another 7540 teachers in the secondary schools of the state. The thrust of the government of Odisha has been to transform the education sector in the state through improvements in infrastructure, resources, manpower and other necessary interventions. With the new appointments, the pupil teacher ratio is also going to improve positively thereby helping the teaching process.

The 5T High School Transformation Program has transformed more than 4000 schools in the state to modern learning centers in the last three years. The government also aims to transform all the remaining schools by the end of 2023. The High School Transformation program entails best schooling infrastructure in both urban and rural areas with smart classrooms, e-library, reading rooms, science laboratories, hygienic toilets, safe drinking water and sports infrastructures. Following the 5T Principles of – Technology, Teamwork, Transparency, Time and Transformation, the schools are being added latest technology, revamped infrastructure by means of digital and smart classrooms, interactive learning environment, e-library and modern science laboratory. In a short period, the School Transformation Program has not only resulted in the transformation of infrastructure but also elevated the self-confidence of the students who belong to mostly rural areas. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has been taking personal interest in the High School Transformation Program and monitoring the day to day developments. In December 2021, Naveen went to Hinjili to inaugurate the first set of transformed schools and had a firsthand experience of the transformation at the Brundaban High School. He interacted with the students about the various issues of the schools and assured them to provide all help to make them better citizens.

Odisha’s School Transformation Program has been a tremendous success and has attracted massive response from across the country. The Government of India is the latest one to follow Odisha model and start its own school transformation program. Other states are also watching Odisha’s transformative efforts to replicate the same in their schools.

The Mo School and Mo College initiatives of the government of Odisha are two such initiatives that aim to create a platform for the alumni to connect, collaborate and contribute to revamping the government and government-aided schools and colleges in Odisha. Mo School is a first-of-its-kind initiative in the country – a citizen-government partnership in which the former leads in designing the programme, defining its goals and directing its implementation. More than six lakh alumni have joined hands in this program and each contribution of an alumni is reciprocated with double matching contribution from the government of Odisha. Likewise, the Mo College program connects the alumni with their alma mater. All State Universities and Government Colleges /Aided Colleges of all types located in Odisha shall come under the coverage of Mo College Abhijan. To ensure than the students from rural areas are not deprived from modern education and get facilities at par with their urban counterparts, the Government of Odisha under the ambit of the 5T Initiatives has started the Adarsha Vidyalayas in the state. Odisha Adarsha Vidyalaya, which was started for the talented children of the rural areas, has become very popular today. From Kotia to the iconic OAV in Bhubaneswar, 88,272 students are studying in 250 OVAs in 250 blocks as per the CBSE syllabus. 30 OAVs covering 30 districts will soon start Commerce Stream in Higher Secondary classes. The meritorious students securing 90% and more marks in 10th Board Exam are provided residential coaching facilities to prepare for State and National level Entrance Examinations for Medicine, Engineering, Law and armed forces.

A vision document for integration and transformation of OAVS into Centres of Excellence through the 5T High School transformation initiative has been prepared the Government. Efforts are being put to functionalize 64 OAVS and 1 iconic OAV at Andharua, Bhubaneswar in the 2022-23 Academic Session. On Teachers’ Day-2021, 413 Teachers have been appointed in our OAVS. 50 hostels have been established in OAVs for 5000 girls students. The Government is also setting up the Adarsha Vidyalaya Center of Excellence in the outskirts of Bhubaneswar which will be developed over 13 acres of land at Andharua. Upon completion, the Adarsha Vidyalaya Excellence Centre will enrol 1000 students. It will have eight labs, two boys and two girls hostels, eight guest houses, 22 teachers quarters and a 12-acre playground.

The ambitious transformation program being undertaken in the field of education in Odisha is a paradigm shift that will have its impact in the coming days. Naveen’s leadership has brought in a state of affairs where the students have got the opportunities to explore and understand science, technology, entrepreneurship, research and other areas of knowledge in a modern environment. These opportunities will help the children to develop themselves for the future.

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