- 650 students will do a telephonic survey of 13,000 respondents from rural areas of the 52 districts of Madhya Pradesh
- Respondents include students from government schools, their parents and teachers
- Each student will interview 20 respondents in the next two days
The orientation of the Rural Engagement Programme (REP) 2021 took place at IIM Indore on February 18, 2021. REP is a unique initiative that was instituted in 2009 with an objective to sensitize the budding managers and entrepreneurs of this Institute towards the various schemes undertaken by the government in villages and to study and analyze their execution and effectiveness. This time, the programme is been conducted in online mode, wherein the participants would be conducting a telephonic survey of around 40,000 participants from rural areas of 52 districts of Madhya Pradesh.
The subject of this year’s REP is ‘School Education in Rural Madhya Pradesh: Overcoming the Challenges of Covid19 and Beyond’. There are 1.33 Lakh schools in India; out of which 69 percent are in the urban region and 31 percent in the rural areas. 94 percent of the government schools are in rural areas in Madhya Pradesh, while just 6 percent are in urban. There are 98 lacs students enrolled in both elementary and secondary levels; however just 30 percent have access to a smartphone. Majority of the students (65%) have access to radio and television (60%). IIM Indore REP participants would be able to analyse the initiatives taken by the Government to provide obstacle-free education to the school students in rural areas.
The inauguration took place in the presence of Professor Himanshu Rai, Director, IIM Indore and Ms. Rashmi Arun Shami, IAS, Principal Secretary, School Education, Government of Madhya Pradesh. Professor Ajit Phadnis, REP Coordinator and Faculty, IIM Indore; Mr. Shitanshu Shukla, Joint Director, (School Education), Govt. of Madhya Pradesh and Mr. F.A. Jami, UNICEF Bhopal were also present on this occasion.
Speaking of diversity at IIM Indore, Professor Rai noted that the mission of IIM Indore is to create responsible leaders- those who make inclusive decisions – and diversity is important to achieve this. ‘Considering that 833 million people in India live across 6.7 lakh villages, it’s important to find a way to address their needs and aspirations, solve their problems, understand what they’re all about—how they live, and what we can do to help them. The problems in rural areas are different from urban, and REP provides an opportunity to the participants to be compassionate and understand the problems at grass-root levels’, he said.
Ms. Shami noted that the REP will provide a learning to the participants which enables them to take quick and correct decisions, connect to the ground and be sensitive. She gave a short presentation sharing the initiatives taken by the Department of School Education, Government of Madhya Pradesh during the pandemic to ensure that the students in the remote areas don’t face any obstacle in learning. ‘We tracked and mapped all the learners and conducted various digital and non-digital initiatives with a tag #AbPadhaiNahiRukegi. These included State Wide Radio Programme, Digital Learning Enhancement Programme, Teacher Training through DIKSHA, TV Broadcasts like Swayamprabha, WhatsApp based assessments and Humara Ghar, Humara Vidyalay’, she said.
The participants also got an opportunity to interact with Mr. Jami, who spoke on the topic—‘School Education in India: Challenges and Opportunities’. Mr. Shitanshu Shukla shared his views on ‘New Initiatives for School Education in Madhya Pradesh’.
Professor Phadnis, Professor Ajay Sharma and Professor Surbhi Dayal briefed the students about the survey instruments and how to carry out phone interviews. Sharing the objective of the programme this year, Professor Phadnis noted that the IIM Indore participants would focus on finding the efforts put in providing education after the schools were shut down amid COVID. ‘The questionnaire also includes finding about the technologies used in school education during the pandemic and how receptive and equipped are the stakeholders for blended learning’, he said.
Two teams of six students will study one district and get a database of around 600-700 contacts of officials/teachers/students and parents from each district. All the participants from IPM, PGP and PGPHRM programme will contribute to this survey. The participants would then submit a report by the end of this month suggesting solutions to the problems faced by the respondents.