The Union Minister for Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat launched the Swachh Bharat Mission Academy at an event on Tuesday as part of the ongoing week-long behavioural change campaign ‘Gandagi Mukt Bharat’.
Shekhawat launched SBM Academy by dialling the designated IVR toll-free number and listening to the welcome message. For sustaining the behavioural change and promoting the capacity building of the key stakeholders, i.e., swachhagrahis and other field functionaries, this IVR based free mobile online learning course on Open Defecation Free (ODF) Plus will be crucial in achieving goals underlined in the second phase of the Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen).
The Union Minister said that the SBM (G) had transformed rural India by transforming into a people’s movement for sanitation, unlike any other the world has ever seen. This had led to the historic achievement of the ODF declaration by all villages, districts and states on October 2, 2019.
Taking forward the extraordinary success, the Phase-II of the SBM (G), which was launched earlier this year, focuses on ODF sustainability and solid and liquid waste management (SLWM). The programme will also work towards ensuring that no one is left behind and everyone uses a toilet. He added that Swachh Bharat Mission Academy, with its mobile-based technology, will significantly boost the capacity building efforts in training of swachhagrahis as well as PRIs members, community-based organisations, NGOs, SHGs and others who are associated with Phase-II of SBM (G).
Secretary, Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DDWS), Parameswaran Iyer, elaborated on the SBM Academy, its functionalities and key roles envisioned under Phase-II of SBM (G). He said that phone-based academy will provide this free of charge access to on-demand anytime, anywhere training course with high quality and standardised content over the basic mobile phone and also improve the knowledge and interpersonal communication skills to enhance the quality of interaction with beneficiaries.
The IVR based training course contains a 60-minute module spanning various topics under ODF-S as well as SLWM. The SBM Academy course has four chapters, each with four audio lessons and a multiple-choice quiz at the end of the chapter. To be considered successful, the user must answer at least 50 per cent of the questions correctly.
As of now the content of SBM Academy is in Hindi and the users are expected to dial into a toll-free number (18001800404) and complete listening to the entire content in their mobile phones.
Shekhawat also held an online interaction with swachhagrahis, field level functionaries and state officials. He urged them to encourage people to fully utilise this free learning course.