MADURAI; Disparity in the quality of education is one of the major problems faced by the students from the rural schools. As a boon to these students, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), a central government programme, started an initiative called ‘Partnership between schools’ linking urban and rural schools in 2016. The partnership aims to provide equal opportunity for students from different social groups to improve their knowledge.
Under the programme, eight rural schools are selected and paired with eight urban schools in each district. Twenty students from Classes 6 to 8 of a rural school are sent to attend classes in an urban school and vice versa. “This exchange of students is scheduled for eight days, one day per month. In six months, the students from rural schools will get a new and holistic learning experience by understanding the method of teaching in the urban schools. They also develop friendly ties with the children in the urban schools,” explained the District Coordinator of the programme.
“The programme will give the rural students a good exposure and help them understand urban life, which can help them during their higher studies,” he added. Explaining about the programme, S L Alamelammal, Principal of the Panchayat Union Middle School, Panamoopanpatti said, “Beginning with the morning prayer, the students from both schools are made to participate in all the activities of the partner schools. Students learn about hospitality and values while looking after and extending services to the guest students. The students even exchange small handmade gifts and flowers.”
“In addition to the classroom activities, field trips are also arranged by both the schools. Urban schools are introduced to nature and the rural lifestyle while the rural students get an opportunity to experience urban life and the digital teaching methods,” Alamelammal added.
Recalling a feedback given by a student of her school, Alamelammal, the principal of Panchayat Union Middle School at Panamoopanpatti in Madurai district said, the programme has increased the confidence of the students of our school. By being introduced to the urban life through the school atmosphere, the rural students have shed their inhibitions and inferiority complex. The experience also helps to improve their communication skills to a large extent, she added
The partnership aims to provide equal opportunity for students from different social groups to improve their knowledge