Odisha’s ‘Mo School’ programme, involving community and individual participation to strengthen the school ecosystem, receives overwhelming response

Published : February 08, 2021 12:51 IST

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik inaugurating the social media campaign for the ‘Mo School’ programme, at the State secretariat in Bhubaneswar. Photo: BISWARANJAN ROUT

The Naveen Patnaik government’s “Mo School” (My School) campaign has received an overwhelming response, with former judges, Ministers, MPs, MLAs and senior bureaucrats coming forward to ensure quality education and infrastructure development in government-run and government-aided schools in Odisha.

Encouraged by the adoption of schools by many serving bureaucrats when the government recently wanted to accelerate the “Mo School” campaign, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik went a step further on January 25 and called on everyone to adopt schools and participate in the transformation of the State’s educational ecosystem.

Patnaik’s appeal found immediate resonance among a large section of the people. Among those who have joined the scheme include former Supreme Court judge Justice Arijit Pasayat, who adopted Ravenshaw Collegiate School in Cuttack.

Namrata Patnaik, who lives in far-off California, United States, has made a generous contribution to Ranihat High School, Cuttack, in her father’s memory. Built in 1926, the school is all set for a complete renovation, with the steps already taken to modernise the existing library.

The campaign, launched by Patnaik on Children’s Day in 2017, encompassed all gram panchayats, blocks and districts, involving more than 21,000 schools and more than 3.5 lakh people. Many schools have become examples of how the initiative has contributed to the revamping of the school ecosystem in the State.

The programme gained fresh momentum after the school adoption programme was introduced under “Mo School” last month and many IAS officers came forward to adopt different schools.

As many as 13 Ministers, MPs and MLAs, 53 IAS officers and two former judges have adopted 144 schools during the past few weeks. The campaign has been brought under the “5T” initiative—Teamwork, Technology, Transparency & Time for Transformation.

“Mo School” allows individuals to adopt a maximum of three schools. Under the campaign, alumni and others interested in the betterment of government schools participate, contribute and share their knowledge and make voluntary financial contribution. The financial contribution is then matched, twice over, by the government. While the financial contribution speeds up the development of infrastructure, the actual involvement of members of society spurs the young minds.

The State government has approved projects worth Rs.57.49 crore for 8,877 schools during the 2020-21 fiscal year under the campaign. While Rs.19.16 crore was contributed by alumni of different schools, Rs. 38.32 crore was provided by the government.

The government has decided to select and further develop 100 schools in the State as model schools under the school adoption campaign. The School & Mass Education Department has appealed to former students and other interested persons to adopt final year students and take care of their educational needs apart from funding the development of quality school infrastructure.

Over 53.68 lakh students are studying in government schools, while 12.77 lakh are studying in private schools and another 5.75 lakh in government-aided schools. Of the total enrolled students, 13,87,576 belong to the Scheduled Castes (S.C.) and 20,58,955 belong to the Scheduled Tribes (S.T.) communities and 37,74,687 belong to non-S.C.-S.T. category.

Bhupendra Singh Poonia, State Project Director of Odisha School Education Programme Authority and Member Secretary of “Mo School”, said that more than 20 serving IAS officers would guide the schools to ensure their holistic development by coordinating with different departments.

As the State government continues to collaborate with many national and international organisations and strives to ensure community participation, the number of projects under “Mo School” is likely to increase substantially in the coming days with more and more people stepping forward to adopt schools at the grassroots level and contribute in cash, kind and service.

The “Mo School” campaign rests on five pillars—connect, collaborate, contribute, create and celebrate. The fact that the Mo School official app has crossed 50,000 downloads shows that the campaign has been successful.

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