Social Inclusion through modernizing Public Schools as Smart Campus
Visakhapatnam is the largest urban centre and the fast growing city in Andhra Pradesh with a growth rate of 91.8 percent between 2001 to 2011. The population has increased because the jurisdictions of the municipal area were extended to include Gajuwaka and 32 villages within Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) in 2005. In 2013, the boundaries of GVMC further expanded to include Anakapalli and Bheemli zones. Visakhapatnam is also considered to be the centre of education in the state, especially after its bifurcation from Telangana. As per Census 2011, GVMC’s literacy rate at 82 persent is higher than the district at 67 percent and the State at 68 percent.
Aligning with the Smart City Vision, Visakhapatnam has focused on the health and well-being of its citizens especially children and thus undertaken projects to provide upgraded education infrastructure. The Greater Visakhapatnam Smart City Corporation Limited (GVSCCL) has put substantial emphasis on upgrading the city’s social infrastructure. The project aims at modernizing public schools as smart campuses by retrofitting GVMC schools. It would transform the schools as ‘Smart Campus’ and create a 21st century education infrastructure for every strata of the society. It includes:
- Up-gradation of basic infrastructure facilities.
- Encouraging outdoor play and physical activities amongst students.
- Rebranding of the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) schools.
- Investment in schools to provide technology-based learning.
Overall, the smart campus project impacts nearly 11,000 students and their families. The objectives include:
- Upgrading GVMC schools through uniform identity in terms of facade improvements and signage.
- Providing clean and green education campus to enhance learning and teaching environments.
- Providing more outdoor activity areas for students to increase opportunities for greater physical activity.
- Optimising the use of underutilised land within school premises by creation of functional spaces, and universally accessible design through creation of ramps for access to schools and classrooms.
- Equipping schools with technology-based digital learning zones for students and teachers, future classrooms, other teaching/learning resources, in addition to capacity building of teachers.
- The project aims at leveraging IT infrastructure for the improvement of quality of education in schools and encouraging the medium of digital literacy amongst students.
The project will upgrade the infrastructure of GVMC schools in the city with the aim of also adopting smart ways to develop a futuristic learning environment for its students.