Over 20 students from tribal belt of Madhya Pradesh, who were taught under a government programme for children from backward villages, have cracked the IIT examination.
“Overall 300 students qualified in the mains examination and 21 have been selected in the advance examination,” said Madhya Pradesh Higher Education Commissioner/Secretary Umakant Umrao.
Under the “Choo lo aasman programme”, special classrooms having video lectures from experienced teacher of city schools, television and computer programmes show practically the theory we taught them, said Vivek Tiwari, principal Higher Secondary government school in Dhoura where one of the students was selected in IIT advanced examination.
Other than the regular classes, special night classes were also introduced for the students. These schools are spread all over the tribal backward areas of Madhya Pradesh.
“We have closely monitored the situation. We connected through technology. We used to ask teachers to send pictures and videos of classroom education daily to check attendance and quality of education being given to the students,” said B Gyaneshwar Patil, Collector of Baitul district.
“It is a very proud moment for us and we are very happy that bright students from backward sections of the society are getting the right exposure and are able to fulfill their dreams,” he added.
Under the programme, students are provided free schooling and coaching by teachers, besides food, at the residential campus. The students are mostly tribals and they come from very modest background. Some of them didn’t even have money to reach the examination centres of IIT, said R S Parihar, Assistant Commissioner of Tribal Development Department Baitul district.
He said each district has 16 smart classrooms and based on the aptitude of students we segregated them. The ones interested in mathematics were trained towards engineering and ones towards biology were taught keeping medicine in mind. He said students from time to time were also taught through video conferencing where they got their doubts cleared by experts.
Delighted with the initiative, the students said they were imparted quality education and teachers helped them fulfill their dreams. “My mother is a daily wage labourer and my father passed away when I was very young, qualifying into IIT has been my dream and the kind of education I got from my school with study material and well-equipped laboratories helped me fulfill my dreams,” said Halvant Dhuve, a student of EMRS government school, Baitul, who secured 999 rank in the advanced examination.
Another student Dheeraj Binjhade from a tribal higher secondary school in Baitul who secured 1294 rank under SC category agreed with Dhuve.
“We got very good coaching. We were taught through study material that the government acquired from professional coaching institutes, we had laboratories having the necessary facilities,” he said.
The quality of education in the region is very poor because of which the children reach to class eighth and tenth standards,” Umrao said.
“We are educating children to prepare them as doctors and engineers. And most of these students come from very poor background, hence it has been our aim to bring these students to mainstream,” Umrao who himself is an IITian said
“Using the fund, we scanned everything right from teachers to lab assistants and gave proper training to them,” Umrao said, adding that infrastructure and laboratory facilities were also improved.