The first phase of the ongoing development program at the Government Middle School Shimshal started last year November when our team worked on a detailed assessment of the school. The phase covered 6 focus areas for school assessment:
Teaching and Learning
Leadership, Management and Administration
Internal Student Assessment
Each focus area was evaluated in detail taking into account current performance, feedback received about the school, challenges faced and improvements required by faculty, students and the community level School Management Committee. The information gained was crucial to help us design a School Development Plan that targetted each of the assessed gaps.
One thing that was highlighted by the faculty and emphasized on by the students was the lack of a computer lab at the school. Students of grade levels 6 to 8 were studying a Computer Skills subject in school however majority of them had never used a computer before. Computer skills so far were only a set of lengthy chapters in a book with screenshots of computer screens intended to teach Ms. Office. In a discussion with the students it was evident that they all really wished to have a computer lab and learn to use a computer.
The need for a better equipped school in terms of basic facilities like a computer lab and a library was evident. Our team worked tirelessly November through December to raise funds for a computer lab for the school. With help from our donors and supporters we arrived in April at the Government Middle School Shimshal with 7 Desktop PC’s. We picked an empty classroom, set up two tables from the minimal furniture we found in school and set up 5 PC’s. The day we installed the PC’s the school faculty gathered around, some recorded the moment when the PC’s were first turned on. We remember a teacher smiling and saying “this makes me so happy that i want to keep looking at these computers”.
It was a priceless experience, to share the joy of our students as they attended their first computer class infront of an actual computer. The excitement, the smiles, the enthusiasm was brilliant. We saw students struggle to use a mouse and laugh. What they saw in the lengthy chapters of the Computer book was now infront of them. We entered a world of new learning and exploration with the students in the Computer Lab from then on.
It has been two months to the set up of the Computer Lab. While we work on the details of designing the lab as an aesthetic learning space, the students at the Government Middle School Shimshal are working on a few projects in the computer lab which are linked to the syllabus content they are studying.
Grade 7: A PowerPoint Presentation on Shimshal. Phased into three parts: Research, Draft and Presentation.
Grade 8: Excel sheets to maintain and perform calculations on student result data. Students will deliver a presentation on the result statistics to close the project. The sheets will later be used by faculty members to maintain internal student result data.
We’ll share pictures and details by the end of June once these projects close.
The remaining two PC’s have been reserved for installation in Early Childhood Classrooms along with Taleemabad’s Digital Learning Application to improve the Learning experience for Early Years students