Latest NorthEast India News | IITG working towards transforming the scientific talent in Assam’s education landscape

Guwahati: In partnership with the Assam government, the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati (IITG), is playing a pivotal role in fostering scientific talent at the school level within the state.

Aligned with the Assam government’s commitment to implementing the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 from the grassroots level, the institute has spearheaded several mentoring and training initiatives tailored for both the teachers and students.

In recent endeavours, the institute, in collaboration with the Assam Science Technology & Environment Council (ASTEC), organised a transformative five-day orientation programme, for 110 school students from across the state, on February 5 this year, in the presence of Keshab Mahanta, Assam’s Minister of Science and Technology, Information Technology and Health and Family Welfare, alongside an ongoing comprehensive five-day residential teacher training programme.

These initiatives underscore IITG’s commitment to fostering a culture of innovation and experiential learning.

Along with Minister Mahanta, Jaideep Baruah, Director, ASTEC, Laya Madduri, Secretary of the Assam Science, Technology & Climate Change Department, and Prof Parameswar Iyer, Dean, PRBR, IITG, interacted with the selected students and urged them to utilise this opportunity to the fullest.

Speaking about IITG’s participation in mentoring the school teachers and students of Assam, Prof Rajeev Ahuja, Officiating Director of IITG said, “IIT Guwahati remains steadfast in its commitment to fostering a culture of innovation and experiential learning, particularly at the grassroots level. Aligned with the NEP 2020, our recent efforts highlight IITG’s dedication to nurturing scientific talent in partnership with the Assam government. I am sure these programmes will equip both educators and learners with the essential stexts and knowledge needed for success in today’s dynamic world.”

Speaking during the event, Minister Mahanta said, “The five-day mentoring programme serves as a valuable opportunity for students to immerse themselves in the IITG campus and its environment, fostering an understanding of core concepts and values.”

The Minister further emphasised the significance of embracing curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, encouraging students to engage with the IITG professors to enhance their understanding of scientific studies.

Conducted under the “Mukhya Mantrir Bigyan Pratibha Sandhan,” the primary objective of the programme was to bridge the gap between extraordinary students and the right destination for honing their stexts in research and innovation.

It sought to identify and expose talented students to the correct set of mentors, facilitating a clear understanding of their interests and growth potential. The five-day programme included mentorship for the selected students and exposure to various scientific fields.

One major highlight of the five-day students’ orientation programme was the live interaction with Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. During the session, Chief Minister Sarma inspired the students to explore opportunities in the field of science and technology for their future growth. He also commended the IITG for its pivotal role in nurturing innovation and excellence in education.

Of the 110 selected students, approximately 45 per cent were female participants, which aligned with the Assam government’s initiative to boost female participation in STEM subjects.

Selected students underwent a one-week residential fellowship camp at the IITG and now will proceed to the next stage of the campus at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore, which will be held in collaboration with the Karnataka State Council of Science & Technology.

Along with it, this mentorship initiative is designed to provide students with in-depth guidance, resources and hands-on experience in their chosen scientific domains.

The programme aims to select over 100 students annually from Assam. Following selection, the top 15 students will participate in the state-level Children’s Science Congress and another 15 will be part of the state-level Aryabhatta Science Centres.

The remaining 70 students will undergo science talent search tests, followed by interactions with experts.

To equip teachers with the stexts and knowledge required to foster innovation and experiential learning in schools, the IITG successfully concluded the transformative five-day residential teachers’ training programme on Friday (February 9).

Conducted in two batches, the training programme empowered teachers to install tinkering labs, conduct sessions with students and introduce experiential learning methodologies.

The participants underwent training in multiple STEM topics, including basic electronics, block-based coding, robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), and 3D Design and Printing.

The programme included 15+ practical projects, allowing teachers to gain substantial know-how and replicate the curriculum in their respective schools.

Commissioned by the Samagra Shiksha Assam, under the aegis of the Assam Education Department, the IITG conducted the inaugural session of this programme from January 29 to February 2, 2024.

It saw a robust participation with over 560 teachers from 335 schools across 33 districts of the state. Following this success, the second batch of the programme took place from February 5 to February 9, attracting around 300 educators from 156 schools, representing 33 districts of Assam.

Aligned with the NEP 2020, this training programme will help teachers incorporate experiential learning into their curriculum for the benefit of students.