As the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) rolls out text-books from Class VII onwards, India will arguably be the first country to expand design thinking and innovation courses in schools. Such courses have already been introduced for Class VI students in many schools from this academic year, as part of a skill development curriculum.
The elective courses are jointly developed by CBSE, IIT Bombay and the Innovation Cell of the Education Ministry, and aim to equip students with the right set of tools and experience to handle problems using the design thinking process. The currently conceptualized module is at par with international standards, and students will be awarded grades according to their achievement, instead of being a pass or fail criterion.
Dr Abhay Jere, the Chief Innovation Officer of the Innovation Cell, Education Ministry, who has been instrumental in starting many innovation-related initiatives in Indian higher education institutions, is leading this effort for school students now. Through this programme, it is believed that a large number of students will get trained in design thinking, and help move them more actively in the direction of innovation and entrepreneurship. He also observed that the innovation quotient and problem-solving ability of Indian students is below par currently, mainly because of the existing emphasis on rote-learning in our system.
Prof. Poovaiah, the Chairman of the team from IIT Bombay that finalized the syllabus, stated that the curriculum is being readied till Class XII, and will be
submitted to CBSE soon. The initial modules will explore students’ sensory, cognitive and social abilities through fun exercises. If students get interested, they can take these up as full-time courses form Class IX.
Teachers are also being trained for effective teaching of such courses at various centres around India.
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Vinod Kakumanu heads a team of school services professionals and is an independent commentator on Indian school education scenario. Vinod has assisted school promoters establish 35+ schools besides providing ancillary services to over 1000 schools across India. He envisions a future where quality education is made available to every child of the country. The focus he places on the quality of the deliverables and customer satisfaction has made him renowned in the field of K-12 school education.