Under the aegis of Ministry of Education’s Samagra Shiksha Assam (SSA) program, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati is working to transform the education landscape of Assam by providing support to government bodies and startups in identifying and addressing the challenges faced by the education sector. In a recent stride to achieve this collective goal, the Institute organised Transforming Education in School Meet on 8th September 2023.
The event was graced by the esteemed presence of Dr. Ranoj Pegu, Hon’ble Minister of Education, Govt. of Assam, as the Chief Guest, along with Dr. Om Prakash, Mission Director, SSA, and Prof. Parameswar K. Iyer, Officiating Director, IIT Guwahati, as the Guests of Honor.
Dr. Ranoj Pegu, Hon’ble Minister of Education, Govt. of Assam virtually inaugurated the 69 Tinkering Labs sanctioned last year and said, “I thank the Director and faculties of IIT Guwahati for their support and execution of various educational schemes to transform the Education system of Assam. IIT Guwahati as the big brother is handholding other educational institutes of the region for successful implementation of various RAA activities and Arohan scheme. Teachers and parents should encourage students to ask more questions and actively participate in the tinkering process.”
The event aimed at showcasing the innovative products developed by the students of state-run schools as part of the Tinkering Lab program, an initiative of Samagra Shiksha Assam. As many as 230 students from 10 government and 15 private schools from all over Assam participated in this event. The event also focused on recognising the achievements of the Education Department in promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education in the state and shed light on the importance of 21st Century Skills programs in schools,
A STEM Workshop was also hosted in the event where 230+ students from various schools made their very own robots. The event concluded with a Panel Discussion where Professors of IIT Guwahati and other STEM experts interacted with school principals and teachers to discuss the need and challenges in implementing STEM education in schools.
Speaking about the institute's contribution to the education sector in Assam, Prof. Parameswar K. Iyer, Officiating Director, IIT Guwahati, said, "Our mission has always been to enhance the quality of education and hands-on education accessible to all. We are glad to be partnering with the government and startups in Assam to make this a reality. We are committed to continuing our efforts in this direction and to creating a more inclusive and equitable education system for the people of Assam."
Under this collaboration IIT Guwahati has carried out multiple activities. Thes include:
- Residential teachers' training programs for 500+ school teachers
The institute's faculty had designed and conducted residential teachers' training programs for 500+ school teachers in Assam to revamp teaching pedagogy and bring in quality education at the school level. During the program, the teachers were trained in Electronics, Coding, Robotics, AI, and 3D Printing as well as on how to teach the students and further operate the tinkering labs in the state.
- Quiz competitions, Maths and Science Olympiads for 10,000+ students
To induce competitive temperament in 10,000+ students from across Assam IIT Guwahati had organized Quiz competitions, Maths and Science Olympiads. In accordance with the NEP 2020 policy, the institute has established STEM clubs and conducted workshops in 330 government schools to stimulate creative thinking and improve technical and scientific skills.
- Science Meet conducted by 60+ Research Scholars and MTech students from IIT Guwahati in 33 districts of Assam
Research Scholars and MTech students have physically visited and conducted science meets and exhibitions in all 33 districts of Assam to popularize science and logic in our daily lives. Such theme-specific meets motivate students to question, work on their creations, construct experimental designs, solve problems through the intervention of science and technology, and also get feedback on their innovations.
In another initiative under the AROHAN scheme ,a flagship program of Govt. of Assam, IIT Guwahati is going to host meritorious students (Mentees) & their Guide teachers/ Officers from 10 districts of Assam namely Nagaon, Hojai, Udalguri, Darrang, Biswanath, Sonitpur, Jorhat, Dima Hasao, baksa, W.K. Anglong. In the first phase of 2023, IIT Guwahati is hosting around 1200 students.
Apart from visiting higher educational institutions at Guwahati, these students will also interact with the faculty of IIT Guwahati along with the visit to the institutional facilities at IIT Guwahati. Office of Outreach Education Program (OEP), IIT Guwahati, is coordinating these events.
Highlighting the initiative, Prof. A. S. Achalkumar, Dean, Outreach Education Program, IIT Guwahati said, “This is a well thought out program from Assam State Government to inspire the students to take up STEM education after their Class X. IIT Guwahati is doing its best to support the program, which is also in line with the NEP 2020, where the higher education institutes need to support the schools and colleges towards excellence.”
IIT Guwahati through its collaborations with government bodies and startups has shown its commitment to making quality education accessible to all, regardless of their geographic or socio-economic status. With its innovative initiatives and strategic partnerships, the institute is set to continue transforming the education landscape in Assam, and indeed, across the country.