New Delhi: Apart from holding operations against the Maoists in Chhattisgarh, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) have also started providing coaching to the poor tribal children to get admission into the Central government sponsored ‘Eklavya’ and Navoday schools in the state’s Kondagaon and nearby areas.
According to the officials of the Force, over 215 students of Classes 5 and 6 are being given coaching by the security personnel particularly in Mathematics, Science and reasoning skill to crack the entrance examinations of these two residential schools where the education up to Class 12 is free of cost.
“Some of the jawans from the 29 battalion deployed in the Kondagaon areas under the Bastar district, decided to provide these students with extra help after the school hours and started teaching them and within a short span the numbers of students increased nearly by 40 to 50 children and later this coaching classes spread in other places also like Munjmeta, Farsagaon, Jhara and Dhaudai villages in the remote areas of Kondagaon,” the Force spokesperson Vivek Pandey told IANS.
Started two months ago, the ITBP troopers are contributing towards the education of over 215 students who are living in extreme rural and backward areas of the district to to prepare them for the entrance tests of these two schools.
This was a suo- motto initiative by Force’s personnel and they also bear the expenses of books and stationery for these children if needed, Pandey further said, adding that the entrance tests will be conducted in June.
“We expect a good number of students will get admission in these two residential schools,” the PRO added.
This is not the first time that the Himalayan border guarding force deployed in the Maoist affected states has taken such steps to aid the local students in Chhattisgarh. In January, 2021 they launched smart teaching classes in the schools located in hard core Maoist areas.
Despite all odds in areas like weak Internet, they organised smart classes with the help of mobile phones and smart projectors for learning. The troopers also learnt the local tribal languages, Halbi and Gondi, for better communication with the local populations, leading them to increase the force’s intelligence ability.
Started for children in the remote villages in the Hadeli area and adjoining villages last year, these classes are organised by the personnel of ITBP’s 41st Battalion to enhance the student’s knowledge with the help of online audio-visual lessons. The classes are also taken with the help of electronic equipment such as computers and projectors.
“Some 50 students are being benefitted from the initiative,” he added.
The ITBP officials also informed that in case of a weak Internet signal, they improvised a local solution by putting their mobile phones at a height through bamboo poles or on tree trunks where it receives the network and it is connected through WiFi hotspot to the laptop used for smart classes which is projected on big screen through the projector. Sound is delivered through Bluetooth speakers, they said. The Wifi dongle is used to get better Internet speed and these are hung on the bamboo poles or trees at a certain height to get better signals.
Students from Class 1 to 9 are taught and the focus is on Maths and English specifically, along with current affairs, the officials added.
These students are taught in two shifts-students — from Classes 7 to 9 are taught in one shift in the morning and second in the evening between 3 p.m. to 4.30 p.m.
Deployed in 2009 in Chhattisgarh in counter Maoist operations, the ITBP has also trained hundreds of local school children in many sports like hockey, archery, judo, and athletics and also provided over 1,200 youths the ITI and diploma training from the Plastic Engineering Technology Institute at Raipur and over 500 of them have got jobs also.
Because of these efforts of the ITBP, it is being considered as more humane force among the all Central para- military forces deployed in the Chhattisgarh and the ITBP has a better reach out among the tribal population in the state, a senior security official deployed in the ‘red zone’ said.