Innovation for Viksit Bharat

Practising Methodological Approach to Promote Equitable and Quality Education in Bankura

  • 2
  • May 3rd 2023
  • K. Radhika Aiyar
  • ( Bankura , West Bengal )


Bankura is located in the western part of the State of West Bengal. It is a part of the Bardhaman Division of the State and is included in the area known as “Rarh” in Bengal. It ranks 4th according to the Population and literacy rate of the 2001 Census in the State. It is situated between 22° 38’ and 23° 38’ north latitude and between 86° 36’ and 87° 46’ east longitude. It has an area of 6,882 square kilometres (2,657 sq. mi). River Damodar flows along the northern boundary of the district. The adjacent districts are Bardhaman in the north, Purulia in the west, and Paschim Medinapure in the south.

In 2011, Bankura had a population of 3,596,292 of which males and females were 1,840,504 and 1,755,788 respectively. The average literacy rate of Bankura in 2011 was 70.95 compared to 63.44 in 2001. If things are looked out at gender-wise, male and female literacy in 2011 were 81.00 and 60.44 respectively. The total literate in Bankura District were 2,264,013 of which male and female were 1,321,794 and 942,219 respectively.

With regards to Sex Ratio in Bankura, it stood at 954 per 1000 males whereas the average national sex ratio in India is 940 as per the latest reports of the Census 2011 Directorate.

Administrative Setup of Bankura District:

Sl no.




Police Stations






Gram Panchayats









ITDP Mouzas



Gram Sansads



Backward Mouzas



Total School



As per UDISE 2021, Bankura district has a total of 5,191 schools among them 4,889 (94%) schools are served by SSM, and a total of 6,83,109 students are enrolled in these SSM- aided schools. The People Teacher Ratio of Bankura district is 29.58, whereas it is 32 for West Bengal and 28 for India. The Enrolment per school at Bankura is 140 where it is 198 in West Bengal and 178 in India.

The district administration under the leadership of the District Collector decided to monitor twelve major indicators of the SSM with the assistance of the district School Inspectors (SI) at the circle levels. These 12 indicators were as follows:

i. Access and retention

ii. Quality

iii. Right To Education entitlements

iv. Inclusive education

v. Digital initiatives

vi. Vocational education

vii. Innovativeness

viii. Sports and physical education

ix. Strengthening of Teacher Eligibility Test

x. Pre-school education and

xi. Community mobilization

xii. Gender and equity


In consensus with the district school education team, the DC generated a parameter for monitoring 12 indicators of SSM.  The idea was to design activities against each indicator and monitor the progress of each activity leading to one of the twelve indicators. During the monthly meeting, indicator-wise activities were evaluated, and necessary remedial actions were generated to improve the scenario. The monitoring parameter was defined as per three categories or zones which were i) for those above 75% considered as good and classified in the green zone, ii) 50 to 74% considered as decent and classified in the yellow zone and iii) those below 50% considered as critical and classified in the red zone. After getting the findings District Magistrate, Bankura called for a District level meeting with all the stakeholders of SSM and a few steps were initiated. Under the leadership of the District Magistrate, multiple initiatives were considered against each objective to address the underperforming indicators, which includes-access and retention, Quality, Gender and Equity, Inclusive Education, Digital Initiatives, Vocational Education, Innovativeness, Strengthening of TET, Community Mobilization and Pre-School, Education. These initiatives were classified into two -

A. Technology-based interventions, and

B. Human-centric (Non-Tech) interventions.

A.    Technical Interventions on SSM:

      I. Virtual Classroom Program: The program was launched under the leadership of the District Magistrate, Bankura in association with the Department of Samagra Siksha Mission in order to tackle the impact of the COVID pandemic which included an unexpected rise in school dropouts and learning losses among students.

The main objectives of this program were as follows:

a.      To provide an educational platform to students in the pandemic situation,

b.     To inspire students and teachers to stay connected with the teaching-learning process,

c.      To eliminate school dropouts in the district,

d.     To train the teachers for their capacity development in order to maintain quality education during the pandemic.

An Educational YouTube channel, SSM Bankura E-Learning (link: was created by the district to upload videos and make available E-Learning content for Upper Primary to Higher Secondary students. All the E-Learning content lectured by school teachers was uploaded on this YouTube channel. Lots of teachers and students were regular viewers of this channel.

To take this into account of Children with Special Needs (CWSN) a separate playlist was created in the channel. E-Learning contents were prepared by our Special Educator thinking of the special need of CWSN children and made available in the channel. Parents of CWSN students can also watch the videos at their home and teach their children easily.

Around 5000 teachers have been trained and 10,000 students benefited through this program. School authorities were facilitated and recommended to take self-initiative and launched their own YouTube Channels to educate the school-going children. Class-wise WhatsApp groups with the students were formed with the Nodal teachers to clear any doubts of the students instantly.

II. Creation of Digital Content: Digital content for students was created by the school teachers with animation to attract them with fun-based learning and ensure quality education. The contents were also shared with the schools of the remotest part of our Bankura District and spread across the district. These types of content were prepared innovatively by merging one or more contexts in one like pictures, videos, ppts, etc. with the help of the software, Open Broadcasting Studio. Weekly this type of educational content was broadcasted on a Television channel.

III. Distribution of Smartphones: Smartphones or Android Tabs were distributed through the Taruner Swapna program (A State Government Scheme) to 12th-standard students for greater and instant access to educational materials. The students were also trained on the use of Smartphones for accessing educational materials. This year 45,740 H.S. level students in Bankura benefitted through this program.

IV. GIS Mapping of Education Thrust Areas: A GIS Mapping Survey under the Samagra Shiksha Mission program was conducted across the Bankura with the assistance of the department of NRDMS, to identify educational thrust areas. Through this initiative, unserved and oversaturated areas were revealed and it helped the education department in better planning to provide quality education in every corner of the district.

V. Teachers Training: For the capacity building of school teachers, 85% of Secondary level and 75% of primary level teachers were trained on the use of Digital applications, such as YouTube, WhatsApp, Google Meet, Google Form, Zoom, Digital libraries, etc. As a result, the use of Digital Platforms was strengthened and access rates using digital platforms increased.

VI. Children Film Festival: An innovative program, the Children Film Festival was launched by the Bankura District Administration under the Samagra Shiksha Mission to motivate children by showing educational films, such as Biographical films, Sports Drama, Science Fictional, Societal issues films etc.

B.    Humanistic (Non-tech) interventions:

      I. Convergence with Non-Government Organizations: Convergence with NGOs was done to run SHG-driven Para Lekha centres (Informal Education Centres) either before and after school hours either in their own courtyard/verandah or common community spaces for one and a half hours every day to recover the learning losses among elementary level students. The purpose of these learning centres was to get students coming from marginal sections of society reconnected with the process of learning and support them in recovering learning which was lost due to prolonged school closure for COVID. SHGs were trained for their capacity development in elementary education and provided smart tabs in order to appreciate their work and to teach students digitally.

     II. Cycles Distribution: This year a total of 55,426 students of 9th standards were provided Cycles through Sabuj Sathi Prakalpa, a State Government Scheme. The term Sabuj Sathi meant a green companion of students.

     III. Scholarship Distribution: Scholarships were also distributed to the Girl students through the State’s Scheme, Kanyashre Prakalpa with the aim to retain the girl’s students for getting a higher education and prevent child marriages. Unmarried girls studying in class VIII or above or aged between 13 to 18 years were distributed scholarships of Rs. 1000 annually and Unmarried girls studying in High School and aged between 18 to 19 years were distributed scholarships of Rs. 25,000 as a one-time grant.

    IV. Life Skill Development: Self Defence training was introduced for girl students in 76% of Schools in the Bankura District to make them aware of their surroundings and prepared for an unexpected situation at any time. Through the self-defence training, the girls were taught to become psychologically, intellectually and physically strong enough to protect themselves in times of distress.

      V. Operation Pusti: A mission-driven program, Operation Pusti was launched by the District Magistrate Bankura to ameliorate the adverse situation of COVID around the malnourished children through extensive care and necessary services. A drastic downfall in the number of SU Children was recorded (1627 to 500). 66% got recovered within 7 to 8 months. In the program following innovative interventions were incorporated and executed through ICDS/Anganwadi centres-

·       Door-to-door campaign for awareness generation on the importance of breastfeeding, skin-to-skin care, and the need for nutritious food to fight the menace of hidden hunger. The community got aware of Nutrition and Children’s malnourishment due to the Awareness campaigns. More emphasis was given to SC and ST families (around 55% of 1627 malnourished were from the backward section)

·       Introduction of SNP {(Specialized Nutrition Products) (Nutrimix, a complex mixture of Cereals, Pulses, Sugar, Vitamins and Minerals, every day 35 grams to each SU child) and (eggs)}. It was an innovative approach in which additional nutritional products were given to SU children, which provided enough nutrition to fight their bodies against malnourishment.

·       Spot feeding of malnourished children was also ensured for better monitoring and to achieve desired goals.

·       Distribution of Footwear to all malnourished children in order to check entry of hookworms through necked feet. Intestine worms enter into children’s bodies through naked feet and it causes a lack of appetite that reduces the recovery rate of children.

·       Distribution of Water filters to all families of malnourished children in order to reduce waterborne diseases. Water has a direct relation with more than 70% of diseases.

·       Regular health check-ups by workers at AWCs to track the growth of malnourished children and take necessary actions.

·       Linking with families of malnourished children with supplementary income sources and livelihood-generating avenues. This includes the distribution of Chicks and enrolling the women member of the family in SHG for other government benefits.

·       Provided safe drinking water connection to the desired families of SU children.

·       Nutrition gardens were prepared beside AWCs with the convergence of government programs such as MGNREGS and ATMA to cultivate nutritious vegetables besides fruits as supplementary nutrition for kids of AWCs.

VI. Health Camps and IEC Distribution: Routine health check-up camps through block-level health teams were organised in Schools, and Angan Wadi centres in order to track the Physical as well as mental health conditions of children. IEC materials like pen boxes, routine charts, files, bags, etc. with health messages and emergency contact numbers were distributed to the students.

VII. Mainstreaming Campaigns: 35 Children from the Sabar community and 15 children from the Red-Light area were successfully enrolled in school education through the Community Mobilisation program in order to cover the 100% access of first-generation learners and to achieve the Right to Education goal.


Technological interventions like the distribution of tabs, smart classrooms, online classes, vending machines, incinerators, etc., and non-technical interventions like scholarship distribution, doorstep surveys, running SHG driven Education centres, routine health check-ups, distribution of nutrition kits etc. helped the District Administration to motivate the dropouts and vulnerable to trust on education system. The last mile communities with assurance and assistance from District Administration around education started believing in education for all and now they are encouraging their kids to attend school regularly.

Despite being a remote corner of the state, we have been able to connect electricity to almost all schools in our district (99.11%). For creating better study habits among students, to lift them and to grow up their thinking we have set up libraries (94.34%) in schools throughout the district.

The national standardise system for education duly coincides with the study environment present in the district education which reflects the both quality and quantity teaching-learning process to build up the learners not because of fulfilling the educational objectives only but because of the all-round development of the learners to bring out the aptitude among them. It is not only abiding by the national quality assurance standard but also coincides with the cost-effectiveness of the government.

The scheme has innovatively executed the convergence or extension of different line department’s programs at a concentrated region to generate a result which is pro-development. Integration and comprehensiveness were the key focus of the program with orchestration between people, resources and institutions. The approach taken by the District Administration Bankura to promote equitable and quality education through Samagra Shiksha was truly cost-effective and budget-friendly. No doubt these kinds of initiatives in the education sector will be very helpful for other Districts as well to promote quality education for all.


Authored By K. Radhika Aiyar

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