Govt. U.G. High School, Lebidi : Where smart classes with Alexa are for real

Hey Alexa, can you name the President of the Unites States of America? Hey Alexa, what is photosynthesis? Hey Alexa, why don’t metals burn?

These are some of the questions the students of Govt. U.G. High School, Lebidi in Sohela block of Bargarh district posed to Amazon’s very own virtual assistant. The young minds are always seeking for answers to innumerable questions, and this is where technology comes into play— to quench their thirst for knowledge. While a teacher in flesh and blood may get worn out catering to the curiosity of the schoolchildren, which is understandable considering the number of students s/he is subjected to, Alexa though without a human touch, can compensate for our limits. It not only makes learning more insightful as Ms. Alexa is connected to the Internet, providing you a vast pool of knowledge, but also more interesting.

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Technology which has brought in digitalisation has altogether changed the way education was being disseminated. Access to knowledge has no boundaries now and with Internet readily available in your palms, education has been democratised. Govt. U.G. High School, Lebidi has banked on this boon and brought in paradigm shift in the delivery of knowledge.

Established in 1922, the institute started as a primary school and was later upgraded to a high school in 2008. Since then, its pupils have earned laurels in various fields, be it academics or co-curricular activities.

The school has been associated with ‘Mo School Abhiyan’ since 2018. Sri Hemsagar Mahananda, the then B.E.O. and Sri P.K. Joshi, the then D.E.O. played a key role in connecting the school with the Abhiyan. The Head Master of the school has also left no stone unturned in strategising and undertaking various developmental activities under the ‘Mo School Abhiyan’.

Recently, when the Principal Secretary, S&ME Dept., Sri Satyabrata Sahu visited the school, he was impressed seeing the transformation the school has gone under the Abhiyan; of all the schools he visited, Govt. U.G. High School, Lebidi stood out. With above 90% result, the school is an epitome of Mo School success. It boasts of a picturesque campus with smart classrooms, library and much more.

Till date, the school has received a financial grant of ₹3,94,525 from the alumni members and ₹7,89,050 from the state government under the Mo School Abhiyan, totalling ₹11,83,575. The funds have been put to good use in many projects such as construction of bicycle shed, school gate, urinals, smart classroom, procurement of library books, installation of inverter, stabiliser, CCTVs, napkin disposal machine, sliding doors, repairing of the motor pump and beautification of the school garden. But, apart from infrastructural development, what separates the school from the crowd is its efforts and success to incorporate technology in the learning and teaching experience.

With Amazon Alexa virtual assistant, powered by Amazon Echo speakers, in classrooms, learning has become more interactive and students have answers to everything. The school has shown the way on how resource management can bring wonders.

The teachers said that after Alexa was introduced, the classes have seen improved attendance and children are engaging in interactive sessions.

In the future, the school plans to expand the smart classroom facility to upper primary classes, procure books for library, furnish the classrooms and facilitate study materials for the students among others.

With the motivation and determination of the alumni members, the school has undergone numerous changes in terms of infrastructural and academics. The alumni and the students have pledged to ensure that the ongoing developmental projects are completed well before deadline and in a transparent manner.

Head Master of Govt. U.G. High School, Lebidi is very appreciative and optimistic on the collaborative endeavour. He said, “This unique and creative Mo School Abhiyan has helped in strengthening the school infrastructure and broadened the academic prospects. We are also hoping for better cooperation from all alumni in order to speed up the pending activities.”