Friday, September 22, 2023

Rethinking innovation

Thomas Wendt and his co-workers (2007) had ar gued that decreasing trend in life science does not seem to be the problem of society, but rather related to the way science is taught in school. So, before we ponder why youngsters are not taking up science as a career, we should right our basics. This can be initiated at school level where we have to establish infrastructure facilities in such a way so that talented youths are attracted towards science. Alternate way is to train our teachers in such a way that they will stress on experimentation rather than rote memory based education. Somehow we have to follow John Dewey’s method (a method in which student is given liberty in dealing with real-life tasks and challenges, also known as progressive education) of teaching at least in science subjects where youth will have liberty to think and act freely. Indeed, as we witness a paradigm shift from the conventional learning process to modern learning process, there will always be debate whether to keep balance between the two or stick to single process. True, the existing education system in our part of world is still relevant as we have to impart education to the raw talent based in rural areas. However, there is a need to make genuine improvements in education system in order to keep pace with the rest of the world. The aims and ambitions of education have changed over the years. The overarching aim of education in past was simply to educate and impart knowledge to the students, and also to fulfill the dream of achieving hundred per cent literacy rate. Now scenario has changed as more focus is gaining momentum towards the development of productive human resource by imparting both education and skill. Therefore, there is need of rethinking in some areas of education policy and to aim for vibrant and innovative education system that is holistic in nature. It is a herculean task (but possible) to produce highly skilled young brigade from our schools, colleges and universities who are our future opportunity providers (not opportunity seekers). The case of dynamic and innovative education system rests on the fact that we have multiple talents in schools with wide range of mental faculties. For example, some of the students have theoretical mindset, where as others have conceptual. It is important to work out on that education system that takes care of both of these mental aspects. The students having conceptual mindset cannot compete well in the strictly rote memory and theory based examination system. There are highly talented students with exceptional knowledge, but they perform poorly in the traditional examination pattern, thus showing that conventional examination system may not be suitable for all (though necessary evil). The sad part of the story is that we still judge the ability of candidate in the examination through his/her theoretical knowledge (rote memory based knowledge) without caring about real problem solving potential. Immediate steps are needed to harness the real potential of our talented youth through creation of innovative centers. These innovative centers will act as small laboratories where we can resolve our pressing issues through technological intervention. There are various ways by which students can be made innovative. They can be trained in such a way so that they take calculated risks. For example, teacher can tell them to try lot of ways to solve a problem without any fear. By changing the attitude of students in this way, one can inculcate the feature of independence and confidence among the students so that they use their natural talents. Some students may be asked to solve simple day-to-day life problems and give some immediate solution. This approach will enable teachers to increase natural capabilities of budding talent. The aim should be to transform school conditions into natural environment, where inherent abilities of students are groomed. If we consider that every student have been created with specific talent, and try to polish their innate abilities, there are ample chances that we may end up with productive and independent human resource.