Rural Development Through Educational System – A Report
The Course Content and the System
The rural technology course proposal submitted by Vigyan Ashram was approved by the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education,after suitable changes and modifications made by a committee appointed by them for the purpose.
The subject, “Rural Technology,” was designated as the Xth shop in the technical branch, entitled “Workshop Technology and Engineering Drawing.” The following is reproduced from the report of the committee.
This scheme was first formulated by Vigyan Ashram, one of the centers of the Indian Institute of Education, Pune. It is being implemented at Shri Bhairavnath Vidya Mandir, Pabal, dist. Pune 411 403. This program was started in this school from June 1985, as part of a work experience program, pending approval by the Board of Secondary Education. The approval for giving the rural technology course on an experimental basis, was given by the board in March 1986, with retrospective effect from June 1985.
The basic philosophy behind the program is that the segregation of intellectual and physical pursuits in different strata of society retards progress in this modern scientific and technological age. One way to overcome this is to integrate education and development. It is expected that this will make learning easier and better, because it is based on practical real life situations. It will also increase awareness of the local problems among the students and therefore be a preparation for the future. Integration will benefit both education and development economically as well, by fuller utilisation of the infrastructure provided for this course.
The community link has certain social implications. The rural life dominated by agriculture cannot be subject to the strict regulation by the clock and the calendar. The milking of the cow, or feeding of the poultry or sowing of the seed cannot be constrained by the 10.30 to 5.30 syndrome. The time periods indicated in the syllabus are therefore guidelines for the relative quantum of work, rather than rule of operation.
The principle of dignity of labour should be actively implemented by not having staff designated for unskilled work only. The students and the teachers must do all the related work together, and the community will share the burden when community services are involved. The community will also have a say in the practical programs of this course, insofar as the syllabus will require certain skills and areas of study. The actual article to be prepared or the project to be undertaken will vary according to the needs of the community.
The infrastructure needed has been designed with the expectation that a number of items required by the schools will be made by the staff. Thus a fair part of the materials consumed should be “capitalised” in the form of assets.
Finally the organisation, including the skills of the staff and the physical assets should be fully utilised, outside the formal rural technology program, by using it for giving paid services to the community, non-formal specialised courses and for work experience classes for non technical students.
The delinking of degrees/certificates from skills, should be encouraged by taking tutors who have learnt the requisite skills by experience over a period of time. Apprentices may be taken for this purpose and this should be encouraged.
The experiment in the schools were conducted as follows. For the purpose of selection of students, consent letters were first obtained from parents / guardians of students in the VIII Std. Lots were then drawn to select students from among these, to make up the ‘A’ division of 64 students, who would be given the rural technology course.The students of the A division went to Vigyan Ashram, one day in a week, from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm. In order to accommodate this in the time table, the periods for work experience, social service and drawing were dropped and additional periods taken as necessary. The students had one hour of theory and seven hours of practical work, including engineering drawing, every week for thirty two weeks per year.
The technical education was conducted on the campus of Vigyan Ashram, which is approximately one kilometre from the school. The teachers for the course were drawn from.
1. Diploma holders in engineering.
2. The tutors for practicals were drawn from ITI level or school drop outs, who were intensively trained for approximately two years in practical skills. (VII Std was the minimum qualification but most had studied up to X Std).
The number of teachers and students was as follows.
VIII Std students 64, including 15 girls
VIII Std students 66, including 15 girls
Overall Time Allocation in Periods.
1. Textbooks for VIII, IX, and Xth standards.
2. Workbooks for VIII, IX and Xth standards.
3. Handbook for teachers (Theory).
4. Handbook for teachers (Practicals).
5. Audio and Video cassettes, slides, models, etc.
Draft books for VIII and IX standards have already been prepared by Vigyan Ashram and the books for X standard is expected to be ready by July (1987).
Work book formats are being tested for VIII and IX standards. Audio cassettes on lessons for VIII and IX standard lectures are in use. Video cassettes on experimental basis for 4 practicals have been prepared by the space applications center, Ahmedabad.
This program is very innovative and is trying for the first time to bring to the rural areas a course which is modern and relevant to all aspects of the rural economy.It is therefore not possible to get teachers that are already trained to teach this course.
For this graduate or diploma holders in Engineering(Agricultural, mechanical,electrical or civil) will be selected. They will be given intensive training and orientation programs in consecutive vacations. The total duration of this program will be 9 months and preferably this will start at least 1 month before the teaching assignment is given.
They will be given intensive training and orientation programs in consecutive vacations. The total duration of this program will be 9 months and the training will start preferably 3 months before the teaching assignment is given.
In order to encourage the best of the students, to take up the teaching job provision should be made that after two or more years teaching duty, they should get some preferential admission to higher technical education.
The technical section will need a superintendent to take the overall responsibility. The staff will include one assistant, one storekeeper to keep stock of the materials and equipment, and an accountant to look after the financial transactions including paid services given to the community and the materials consumed. The technical section will also have a library with a librarian looking after it. The store keeper, accountant, and librarian functions should be combined with similar functions in the rest of the school.
The superintendent, need not be a technical person, but will be administratively in charge of the technical section. As the value of the assets in the technical section is likely to be large in proportion to the other assets, it is necessary to have the responsibility clearly focused.
To aid instructors in practical lessons, a system of appointing monitors from each batch of 8 or 10 in the class, has been tried and recommended. Hence the instructor handles two batches at a time (8-10 students each).The monitor from each batch is a bright student, who is familiarised with the practical lessons in advance and helps in guiding other students during the practical lessons.
The school should have a scout and guide unit. The scout and guide movement is complementary to the rural technology approach and both will be mutually beneficial. The school should provide 2.0 hectares of land with adequate water supply. The working space required is approx. 100 sq.m. of which at least 72 sq. m should be enclosed. A 3 phase, 10 KvA power supply should be available. There should be adequate storage space for equipment and materials. The school should provide 6 work benches of 1m x 2n x 0.75m height for practical lessons in the engineering subjects. The school will should make available cows and goats for study but these need not be owned by the school.
Considering that most technical education centers till now have been located in urban areas, it is recommended that centers should be started on a grant basis,particularly schools in village having 10,000 population and under are recommended for 100 recurring and non recurring grants.
VIII Reference Material
IX Detailed Syllabus
X Equipment List and Costs for Rural Technology
The above sections will be found in the appendices to this report.