Education City Geetham

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1. Aastha Vidya Mandir School Geetham i.e. about 12 kms before Dantewada in Bastar. It is a CBSE English medium school that started in 2013. As on date of visit had 1135 children of whom 561 were girls. It has classes from Upper Kg to Class 10 & is a residential school. App 84 % of the children are adivasis. Children come from 7 districts of Bastar. In 2015 school got ISO 9001 certification.

2. Map of Education City Geetham. It is huge complex with numerous educational institutions for e.g. Aastha, Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidhyalaya, Eklavya Sports complex, Auditorium, Polytechnic College, BPO, Govt Girls Higher Secondary school, SAKSHAM for specially abled boys & girls, DAV Mukhyamantri Model School, Govt Degree College & residential hostels.

3. I first visited education city in 2012. Pic of then shows Aastha school under construction.

4. Aastha has 4 Smart Classes. This girl student took me through this module of the smart class. Very confident, no stumbling. Spoke English and Hindi well. Good thing is Aastha has teachers from numerous states like Maharashtra, Kerala, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh & Chhatisgarh. Teachers provided residential facility. School has 47 teaching staff out of a total of 107 employees. .

5. Class in progress. Facility seemed as good as anywhere without the frills of course. Aastha has an annual budget of Rs 4 crs i.e. funded by NMDC. As on date of visit principal is Santosh Pradhan and Chairman is Collector.

6. You see girl in Science Lab. Her name is Sharvari Udgirwar & from Bhopalpatnam. She wants to become a doctor. What schools like Aastha do is to raise aspirations of children through quality education and exposure.

7. In the science lab you see 3 D printer. Was told that Aastha is the only school in Chhatisgarh to have a 3 d printer. Girl on left using 3D Pen.

8. Pic from my December 2012 visit when school was being built. Then & now a world of difference. How are children selected for Aastha? In order of preference, 1st orphan child due to Naxal affected, 2nd is homeless child due to being Naxal affected, 3rd fatherless child due to being Naxal affected, 4th normal orphan child, 5th normal motherless child & 6th normal fatherless child.

9. Class in progress.

10. Now enter SAKSHAM, facility for specially abled boys. Children run a mini-bank i.e. managed by students. Prize award money etc. are deposited with bank. Employees given loan at 10% interest rate. It is a residential facility.

11. Physio-therapy room. Also have an ear audio facility with mikes/headphones. Section for speech therapy. There is a BRAIL classroom and Computer training room. Since I visited during Dussehra time there were no students.

12. Every child has a bed with box below bed to keep belongings. As on date of visit of 84 kids, 29 had hearing impaired, 14 visually impaired, 29 orthopaedic and 12 mentally retarded. 13 Hall where assembly & functions are held. Such schools exist in Sukna, Raigarh, Dantewada and Jagdalpur.

13. Hall where assembly & functions are held. Such schools exist in Sukna, Raigarh, Dantewada and Jagdalpur.

14. Physiotherapy room in girl’s facility. Since made after the earlier one the facilities are better. This was inaugurated in February 2015.

15. Visually impaired child reading from brail book. Also saw a Speech Therapy and Counselling rooms. She was one of the few kids who had not gone home for Dussehra holidays.

16. Hearing aid machine for hearing impaired children.

17. Kids beds. Lovely facility.

18. This is their dining hall. Lady staff in house. All this at no cost to children. It is funded by NMDC. Out of 74 girls, 23 girls have hearing problems, 37 orthopaedic, 10 are visually impaired and 4 mentally retarded.

19. Girls at CHU LO AASMAN facility. It started in 2011-12 & caters to students from classes 9-12. It is in the form of a training school that supports kids to enter professional level courses. Of 307 girls as on date of visit app 75% Adivasi. All costs borne by govt. If students want to study say MBBS govt pays. Education groups are Science & Engineering. Residential facility.

20. Of 683 girls 10 joined Pharmacy, 119 took to Nursing, 20 to Agriculture, B.SC 339, 12 to NIIT, 76 took Pre Polytechnic test and 117 to State level engineering tests. Hope jotted last detail correctly.

21. CHU LO AASMAN for boys. Coaching classes for 9-12. Have 307 boys as on date of visit of which 80% are adivasis. Entrance exam June-July every year. For 80 seats 200-300 apply. Food, stay, books, uniform all provided for. It started in 2011.

22. Star Performer Students. Name and college of higher education where they got admission post being coached at this facility. About 577 students coached from here since 2011. 6 got admission into NIIT, 22 into Veterinary, B.E. 74, Polytechnic 31 and 4 Pharmacy. These are early days – a good beginning. RKM Ashrama Narainpur Bastar provided similar coaching facility. (about 3 hours every morning).

23. Class in progress.

24. This Polytechnic is next to YUVA BPO. Started in 2010, first pass out was in 2013. Offers Diploma in Mechanical & Electrical Engineering both 3 year courses. Minimum 10th or 12th pass or ITI or BSC. First preference to students of Bastar, next management quota ie NMDC and last open quota. Fees as on date of visit Rs 1200-1300 p.a. Hostel free. Food in co-operative mess.

25. Language Lab – focus on pronunciation and language. Very impressive facility.

26. Class in progress. From next year propose to offer Civil and Mining Diplomas as well.

27. Machines where demos and training happen.

28. Impressive library.

29. View of YUVA BPO building with boy’s hostel on right. BPO is part of Polytechnic plot. Do see the album on BPO.

30. Nothing happens without blessings of MA DANTESHARI. U see temple (lit up part). Pranams. Bastar is changing – our perceptions need to change to.

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