Since 2016, the UT administration has focused on improving the quality of school education and unleashing opportunities through higher education
Daman September 8: Making education accessible and equitable and making it relevant is the need of the hour and this is what Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu have been focusing on for the past five years. The union territory’s administration has rolled out several initiatives to boost education, beginning from pre-primary to higher education.
To ensure students can study in a safe and clean environment, nearly Rs. 200 crore have been spent on 20 new school buildings in the three districts of the union territory. The buildings also comprise state-of-the-art infrastructure, including sports rooms, science labs, computer rooms, music rooms, multipurpose halls, smart classrooms, and other amenities.
A total of 144 government schools have been provided with 651 smart LED TVs and the latest e-content to make learning more exciting and interactive.
Taking a cue from neighbouring Gujarat, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu began organising the annual Shala Praveshotsav or school enrollment drive in 2018. Like the one rolled out in Gujarat in the early 2000s when Sh Narendra Modiji was the state’s Chief Minister, the initiative aims to ensure the enrollment of 100% eligible children in schools.
Similarly, Gunotsav or celebration of quality has been rolled out to assess school children’s reading, writing, and basic maths proficiency. The findings are used for better learning outcomes in government schools.
“The endeavour is to bring about a change in education at the grassroots level. We already see a very positive impact of these initiatives. Enrollment in the first standard rose by 8.9% in a single year. We are committed to driving more initiatives to strengthen school education,” informed the source at the Department of Information and Publicity at Daman.
The union territory is also leaving no stone unturned to ensure the best higher education and opportunities are available to local students.
Specialized coaching for JEE and NEET entrance exams has been introduced to help meritorious students excel in national-level entrance exams.
To ensure more students can pursue medicine as a career, the Name Medical Education Research Institute has been established in Silvassa in 2019-20 with an intake capacity of 177 students at the cost of Rs. 166 crore. Before that, only 15-16 students from the union territory could get admission to medical colleges each year.
In an effort to strengthen healthcare delivery services, various paramedical courses have been launched at Vinoba Bhave civil hospital in Silvassa and district hospital in Daman with a capacity of 290 students.
A nursing college and an engineering college have also been established in Daman in 2017-18.
“Earlier, students from the union territory had to seek admissions in other states for pursuing a career in medicine or engineering. We are trying to rectify this by ensuring high-quality education is available to them locally,” added the source.
To foster an environment of learning and creativity, education hubs with ultramodern infrastructure are being developed at Silvassa and Diu, each of which will cater to thousands of students. The education hub at Diu also houses the international campus of the Indian Institute of Information Technology, Vadodara.
Several industry-oriented courses have also been launched in the union territory in an endeavour to ensure the availability of skilled human resources for industries.