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Time For IITs And IISERs to Mentor Schools in Science and Maths

In the Vibrant Gujarat Summit on 17th January, 2019, Mr. Prakash Javadekar, the Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister, stated MHRD has made a decision to enquire the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISER) and large universities to provide training to 10-15 schools in their vicinity in Maths and Science.

He highlighted that they will supervise and mentor the nearby schools that are actually close to their IIT and IISER campuses so that they can make sure that the students are not left behind especially behind in mathematics and science-related subjects. These subjects are important in the current era. Prakash Javadekar said that it is really important to foster research tendency among students starting in the primary schools. He mentioned in an interview that “Maths can be taught in an entertaining way. For the students to study and understand maths and science properly, not very big equipment, but simple ideas are required. Hence, primary school teachers play a big role”. He mentioned that it has been decided for that IITs, IISERs, large and good universities must take care of giving training to these few nearby schools. He said that according to him right pedagogy is much needed to build the interest of primary school students in these two subjects. According to him he believes that the Modi government has already taken major initiatives to promote the culture of innovation in the country by having more innovation and incubation centres, allowing start-ups to run even from hostel rooms, launching IMPRINT India initiative and offering Rs 1 lakh per month to the PM Research Fellows, among others. Not only had this but he also reported that more than 100 research projects are currently in progress in Indian institutes and universities. Over 2,000 Atal Tinkering Labs have already been set up by the government and it further plans to establish another 3,000 such facilities across the country. It has been observed that the participation in Smart India Hackathon has been seen growing from 40,000 to 1.5 lakh in three years. Prakash Javadekar stated that as a result of a study, it is proved that lagging behind in subjects like maths or science once leads to more gaps which further brings them down in the subjects. Hence it is important and critical to make the students in the primary schools realise the importance of these subjects on time. He mentioned that based on all this, he believes that the investment in research will grow, and an environment of science, engineering, technology, mathematics, research and attitude of innovation will start soon in schools to encourage the tendency and interest among students to explore solutions to the society’s problems.

By: Anuja Arora