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Roadmap soon to inculcate culture of innovation in schools

Panaji: In order to encourage innovation in school students, the Goa State Innovation Council (GSIC) will soon come out with a roadmap.

GSIC chairman Jose Noronha on Wednesday said that the roadmap will be prepared in consultation with school teachers and will be ready in about 15-20 days time. “It will cover areas such as physical infrastructure for generation of ideas, financial outlay, among other issues,” he said. One of the physical infrastructures that the Council is recommending is setting up of tinkering or think labs in schools. “The labs are required for students to contemplate,” said Noronha, speaking as the chief guest at a teachers’ training programme organised by GSIC.

He pointed out that most local schools will require additional infrastructure in the form of laboratories where students must be encouraged to work on practical projects. “For instance, if the project is on agriculture it should benefit farmers,” said Noronha. The roadmap will be submitted to the state government for approval, he said.

“Many teachers are complaining of lack of space in schools to set up laboratories. It is an issue that will be addressed in the roadmap,” he said.

Noronha added that innovation can only be encouraged at the school level through a conducive environment. “Teachers need to be trained to create the system because many teachers don’t know what innovation is and how to achieve it,” said Noronha.

The teachers training programme organised by the Council was for all government-aided schools. About 400 teachers are targeted for training, of which the training of teachers from north Goa schools took place on Wednesday at Sanskruti Bhavan, Patto. The training programme of teachers from south Goa schools is on August 9 at the Ravindra Bhavan.

The programme was attended by Raghuvir Vernekar, chairman, GCCI education committee, Nagraj Honnekeri, director, state council for educational research and training (SCERT), DS Prashant and Sudip Fal Dessai, members, GSIC and startup founders, Gajanan Nagarsekar, Kallows Engg, Ponda, Suvarna Surlekar, founder, Codewell Computers and Shalini Menezes, founder, Sim Sim law consultants.

Vernekar said that school teachers need training on how to encourage innovation because they are the ones who stifle creativity. “As children, students have 98 per cent creativity but once they pass-out from schools the creativity is down to two per cent,” said Vernekar. “The standardised system of education is the reason for lack of innovative ideas,” said Vernekar.

The GSIC is urging schools to register their ideas with the virtual innovation register of the Council. About 50 ideas from local schools have been registered since the register launched in July 2018. Students who register their ideas will be given support to patent it and make it commercially viable. [NT]

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