Tuesday, December 5, 2023

CMYCs pave way for effective learning in rural Meghalaya


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SHILLONG, Nov 2: In today’s fast-paced digital age, what does the scene of rural education really look like in the state of Meghalaya? While one can argue that the conventional aspects of good reading and writing skills, knowledge in arts and sciences as well as training in sports are prevalent in our rural regions, there are still some gaps to bridge when it comes to shepherding youths.
Certain elements of learning, such as problem-solving, hands-on training and skill development are subjects that the traditional education system cannot implement, despite being highly in demand in today’s day and age.
In keeping with this aspect of learning, a total of 20 Chief Minister Youth Centres (CMYCs) have been established in the state.
Equipped with tools and programmes that supplement traditional schooling, these centres act as alternative self-learning and co-learning spaces for the rural youths.
The CMYCs have been designed and implemented jointly by Project DEFY and Sauramandala Foundation with an aim to make effective education more accessible to the rural population of the state.
Learners of all age groups come here to explore diverse vocational interests like bakery, carpentry, coding, electronics, sports, arts, music etc, and accordingly, set their own learning goals.
Generally speaking, youths in rural areas find it a challenge to gain technological and vocational skills due to lack of training and limited access to resources. But the establishment of these CMYCs has brought significant development among rural youths, professionally and academically.
“I never saw a computer in my whole life until I visited the Innovation Hub. I have to climb 1,500 steps from my village Diengsong to reach the centre, but what I achieve by coming here is worth more,” says 13-year-old Damelarisha, a regular visitor at the Sohrarim centre.
In order to foster organic learning, CMYCs across the state are equipped with internet-enabled tools, resources and computers.
These centres help learners of all age groups in exploring different vocational interests by setting their own learning goals and executing exciting projects.
In terms of these centres, the trainers’ role is to facilitate learning and offer thorough support and guidance to students working in groups or independently on projects of their interest.
In addition, each centre houses a library stocked with a variety of books in English and Khasi languages. The centres also make sure to include various educational games to foster critical-thinking and decision-making skills.
Launched under the Meghalaya government’s Smart Village Movement Initiative as Salesforce Trailblazer Lab in Sohrarim and Nongwah, alternate learning spaces are now being operated in 20 locations as CMYCs across several districts in Meghalaya.
The CMYC project helps to implement digital learning solutions and promotes skill development and vocational training as a core component of education. As potential hubs of endless innovations and entrepreneurial initiatives for the youths of these rural communities, these centres are expected to be great addition to the government’s efforts in fulfilling the goals of Meghalaya Youth Policy.

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