PMC schools will now have a robotics lab, musical room

As pilot run under Building As Learning Aid, five such institutes will have the excellence tag by June

From robotic laboratory and musical classroom to e-learning classes, five schools of Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) will carry ‘model school of excellence’ tag from next academic year. Introducing the concept of Building As Learning Aid (BALA), PMC’s education department thinks this project will make sure that students fall in love with the school buildings.

While the basic work on it has already been started, non-profit organisation Pune City Connect will undertake the project of changing the face of PMC schools by June 2019. Pune City Connect CEO Ruchi Mathur said, “We have started the initial work on the same.”

As the first step, 12 schools across Pune city run by the civic body have been shortlisted. The organisation is now inspecting the schools and on the basis of this, five will be shortlisted for the model project. PMC education officer Shivaji Daundkar said, “For this project, the basic criteria are all classes — I to X— should be conducted under one roof. As of now, PMC has few schools which have all the classes together, and we have shortlisted 12 schools based on their criteria.”

He added, “BALA technique means changing school buildings and its infrastructure in such a way that it would add up to students’ learning process. For example, steps having various learning notes, classroom doors and paintings on the walls and more can help in making students engage with the topic.”

The concept of BALA concentrates on making the school building student-friendly and also making it a holistic place of learning. Various elements in the school are altered in such a way that they prove to be teaching-learning aid. Having tables written on every step students take or using a corridor or a long passage to explain various steps of a science experiment is included in such projects.

Talking about the music room, Daundkar said, “Creating a space which will have various sounds and music and motivating students to take up music as a career, these musical rooms will introduce students to various instruments. Also, the robotic laboratory will give students knowledge about robotics in a practical way.”

Recently, PMC passed its annual budget with Rs 329 crore being allocated for education, which also includes e-learning and smart classrooms, giving students various stationery and uniforms and a large chunk of the budget will be used for the model school of excellence.

While PMC has undertaken this project, education activists in the city believe that they should be able to give justice to it. Mukund Kirdat, education activist, said, “Government schools in Delhi are developed on similar lines and a budget was given to all of them. PMC is already working on e-learning and smart classroom projects. PMC should be able to take this project ahead for all schools and the allocated budget should suffice to develop all 300 schools in the city run by the civic body ”

BALA technique means making school buildings and its infrastructure in such a way that it would add up to students’ learning process

—PMC education officer Shivaji Daundkar

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