In the ongoing academia, over 1300 students of Government Boys Higher Secondary Budgam have switched to modern innovation learning centre from a traditional way of learning following the establishment of Atal Tinkering Lab (ATL) in the institution.
ATL is the flagship initiative of Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) and NITI Aayog to nurture an innovative mindset amongst high school students across the country.
Established in 1954, the higher secondary has a total enrollment of 1300 students and has become an innovation learning centre and a model school for the students of the area.
With over 41 teachers meant for different subjects, the students of the institute have worked on different projects in the ATL in the past two months. It includes Home Automation System, Night Security System (CCTV), Automatic Water Tank Overflow Alarm and Motor Control and Electrical Mini JCB for Home Lawns and Kitchen Gardens.
These projects were completed under supervision of a senior lecturer Maqsood Ali. He said that the projects were completed by the students while another project on electric bulb was undergoing which could be remotely controlled.
The Senior Lecturer of Information Practices for learning, Ali says that the school is using a smart classroom that has helped the students to learn more effectively.
The teacher who guides students in the ATL lab said that the school has become an innovative centre for learning for the students. “We work hard and it will take some time to improve more. We are utilizing the maximum available resources,” he said.
Ali said, ATL labs are very important for the students and students can learn a lot from it and can turn their creative concepts into reality.
“The students of 9th and 10th standard are very creative. ATL is the best option for them to explore their talent and do work practically in the centre. Students have concepts and guiding them is the best way to provide them a platform,” he said.
He further said that the ATL is aimed to foster curiosity, creativity and imagination in young minds and inculcate skills like computational thinking, adaptive learning, physical computing etc.
“ATL is a workspace where young minds can give shape to their ideas through hands-on do-it-yourself mode and learn innovation skills. Young children get a chance to work with tools and equipment to understand the concepts of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM),” he said.
ATL contains educational and learning ‘do it yourself’ kits and equipment on science, electronics, robotics, open-source microcontroller boards, sensors and Three Dimensional (3D) printers and computers.
“In order to foster inventiveness among students, we conduct different activities like competitions, exhibitions, workshops on problem solving, designing and fabrication of products, lecture series etc. at periodic intervals,” he said.
In the meantime, In-charge principal of the school, Muhammad Maqbool said that ATL has helped students to develop creative mind and concepts which will help them to brighten their career.
“Our students have prepared different models. Now, we are planning to follow them up and involve an institute to take them to the next level,” he said.
“We are working to improve the academics as well as the practical innovative training. It will encourage and develop self-making concepts among the students in and outside the school,” Maqbool said.
Over the years, the institute has been holding parent-teacher meetings which also helped to improve the academics and enrolment in the school.
Maqbool added, “This is also the reason why the school has become a model school. Parents are very cooperative. The teachers accordingly inform parents as to where their wards were lagging behind.”
Recently, the Mission Director Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog, Dr Chintan Vaishnav had visited the institute and had appreciated its students for working on their projects.
Earlier this year, the institute was awarded with “Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar Award” 2022 for maintenance and management under the dynamic of its school head.
The institute has now become a preferred place for students. The institute offers medical, non–medical, arts, commerce streams. It has unique subjects like Persian, Statistics, Information Practices and Bio-Technology.
Besides the quality of education and latest modern gadgets, the school is on a front to participate in different extracurricular activities.
The school recently participated in the inter-zonal athletics championship at Sports Stadium Budgam and won 10 Gold, three silver and a bronze medal.
The institute also has a National Cadet Corps (NCC) wing which has been taking part in different activities in the district. The wing has been doing wonders.
In this year, one of the talented students from Class 11th Faizan Waheed represented India in the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) U-17 Championship in Colombo from September 05 to September.
Similarly, in May, at least 250 students of 14 years and above were registered under Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Suksharta Abhiyan (PMGDISHA)—a scheme aimed at empowering students by training them to operate computers or digital devices like tablets and Smart Phones.
The institute has also been at the forefront to impart disaster management training.“They were also trained how to manage small disasters and use of first aid and how to implement it in emergency like situations,” Ali said adding that he encourages students to feel comfortable in their own pattern of learning.
He further said that it is important that a teacher should have a mind set regarding how to design and deliver the content which is critical to the innovative teaching-learning process.