GOS and 17000ft Foundation on “transforming schools”: training conducted on playground safety and setup

The Education Department, Government of Sikkim has partnered with the 17000 ft Foundation on the “Whole School Transformation Project” to transform 84 government schools, with a special emphasis on remote areas, across its three districts namely Gangtok, Pakyong and North.

17000 ft Foundation is a Nonprofit organization with a mission to transform education in remote, high altitude frontier villages of the Indian Himalayan Region. The project aims to upgrade Govt. Schools with student friendly school infrastructure, improved learning resources and capacity building of teachers to increase enrollment and enhance learning levels of children.

17000 ft Foundation, an organization working in the remotest districts of the Indian Himalayan Region IHR are “Senior Corporate professionals turned Social Entrepreneurs, with a deep connect to the Indian Himalayan Region”. They work primarily to improve Education in the remotest and toughest areas of the IHR by leveraging existing systems.

The foundation, when it comes to schools work with the agendas like

• Upgrade School infrastructure
• Build capacity of Teachers
• Implement specialized Digital Learning Solutions for off-grid and off-network villages
• Improve Learning Resources in Schools
• Monitor & build accountability of school systems

The foundation, in its course of 10 years has had the following impact

• 50,000+ children provided access to quality education near their homes in rural Ladakh & Sikkim
• 50% fall in dropouts/migration in 17000ft adopted Govt. Schools
• Average increase in enrollment by 30% in 17000ft adopted Govt. Schools
• Overall improvement in Student Learning through 17000ft Interventions
• Partnered with Ladakh & Sikkim Govt. for Systemic Reform in Education

In the past year, 17000ft has successfully transformed 18 Govt. schools in the North & East districts of Sikkim where the project was inaugurated by the Hon’ble Minister Education, Kunga Nima Lepcha in a first of its kind launch in the remote village of Lingzya on December 17 2021, along with the Education Dept. headed by Anil Raj Rai SPD Samagra Shiksha, Dir. Elementary Education Bhim Thatal, Dir. Secondary Education Hondala Gyaltsen, Chief Education Officer (East) Tseringkee Chingapa, Joint Director Samagra Shiksha Sri AD Chhetri and other Education Officials from North District.

Pintso Namgyal Lepcha, MLA Dzongu Constituency was the Guest of Honour for the event, along with Dr. (Vet. Lt. Gen) Rajan S Grewal, Vice Chancellor, Sikkim Manipal University and sponsors for the project in the three schools. The event was also attended by Tenzing T. Kaleon, District Collector North Sikkim, along with other officials from SMU & SMIT, Panchayat Members and parents.

The Whole School Transformation Project is supported by Axis Bank, H T Parekh Foundation and Cipla Foundation and as a start towards implementation of this project.

This month, 17000ft foundation is conducting a centralized one-day training program for School Head Masters and School Management Committee members  in Mangan, Gangtok and Pakyong from January 7 to January 11 with a prime focus on “Playground Safety and Playground Setup”. Each of the schools will be given a set of outdoor playground equipment consisting of Slides, Swings, See-saws, Net Scrambler and Monkey Bar to ensure a healthy play space for children. The CEOs of the three districts along with other high dignitaries from the Department of Education have gracefully accepted to be a part of the training program.

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