How ATAL tinkering labs can transform the Indian education?
The Indian Education System has been in dire need of reform and the recent flagship initiative by the NITI Aayog in form of ‘Atal Tinkering Labs’ has proved to be an interesting and potentially game-changing scheme. It aids in introducing the maker culture and innovative spirit in Indian schools, by giving a total grant of Rs 20 Lakh per school to 500 schools, Rs 10 Lakh for initial setup and Rs 10 Lakh for maintenance. This grant can be used to set up Tinkering Labs that will be used by children to make and build things. This scheme has the potential to transform education and to leap-frog our students to outperform their counterparts all over the world.
This is a visionary scheme that holds the immense scope in enhancing creative prowess of the students of not only private but also government schools. The grant shall be provided to set up labs with 3D printers, Raspberry PI and microcontrollers which shall aid in augmenting technical skills along with innovation. Atal tinkering labs is a workspace where young minds can shape their ideas through the do-it-yourself mode which combines their curriculum with dexterity. These tinkering labs can be established in schools (Grade VI-XII) managed by Government, local body or private trusts/society. A minimum 25% of the ATLs would be set up in Government (Central or State) schools. Institutions desirous of applying for ATL can go through the guidelines and apply online. It is an amazing venture to foster adaptive learning under the ‘Atal Innovation Mission’ which also includes setting up ‘Atal Incubation Centers’. In subject specific areas such as manufacturing, transport, energy, health, education, agriculture, water and sanitation, these AICs will provide pre-incubation facilities, common infrastructure and services such as technology development assistance to innovators and startup entrepreneurs for developing solutions.
How is AIM shortlisting schools?
The shortlisting of schools for this grant basically depends on the number of students performing well in Board exams, the number of NTSE and Science Olympiad scholars and the school’s participation in extracurricular science activities at the state or national level. If your school fulfills the above criteria, there are high chances for you to receive the ATL grant. Edu-tech startups like 3Dexter have even created curriculum around activities like robotics, 3D Printing and Iot. 3D printing can be a great asset to these ATLs where the students can enhance their skills and shape their imagination, simply through a 3D printer or 3D pen! There can be no better way to unleash their creativity and resourcefulness than to create that dream or vision in actual form. It can provide them with live models and prototypes of their idea, making them easier to be altered and practically tested. Be it recreating samples of ancient artifacts in History or models for
Robotics in Science or 3D maps in Geography, these labs can bring theoretical concepts to life! Apart from being thoroughly educative and exciting, this technique can prove to be the threshold for reformed education, which will transform conventional teaching methods in India. Niti Aayog has relaxed certain conditions like the minimum square footage requirement and also the minimum number of students enrolled in the schools for states like Uttarakhand, hence proving that this initiative is open to feedback and all changes shall be made in order to make this a successful venture. The only hardships which most schools shall face during the setup of these ATLs will be in finding suitable equipment for their students and in training their teachers for the same.That is when startups like 3Dexter step in. Who can provide them with apt machinery in form of 3D printers and also explain its functionalities that collaborate with their curriculum so that students and teachers can effectively utilize the potential of these labs.
Here is what they have to offer!: https://youtu.be/I9YutgvqVZc