Keeping up with the sciences
Our Gnanadeepa program for teachers
In the last century, science has made mindboggling advances, but think of this – has science teaching in India evolved at a comparable pace? The answer is no.
The future of science in any country depends heavily on how it is taught in schools. Being a technology company, the quality of our talent pool is also shaped by how science is taught in our schools. Propelled by our commitment to science and the need to create a robust pipeline of talent for the industry, we set out to promote a new outlook towards teaching that makes science and mathematics align with children’s natural curiosity. Unlike teachers in big cities, those in the rural areas are at a disadvantage because they do not have easy access to technological and other teaching aids.
The Gnanadeepa program was instituted by the Infosys Science Foundation (ISF) in 2014 with the express objective of training middle-school mathematics and science teachers from rural areas. Held at Mysore DC, the pilot program originally targeted 500 teachers, ended up training over 630 government school teachers from 34 educational districts in Karnataka.
The future of India depends on the quality of education received by her children. There are an estimated 43,447 government primary schools and 3,029 government high schools in Karnataka. The Gnanadeepa program is an initiative to inspire and enable teachers to engage with their students, instill curiosity and improve their grasp of fundamental concepts in mathematics and science. A sound understanding and innovative application of these concepts will provide the building blocks of development in our society.
N. R. Narayana Murthy, Founder, Infosys Limited
Igniting minds, sparking curiosity
Gnanadeepa is part of ISF’s efforts towards rekindling the love for science around the country by addressing issues at the grassroots level. The program took up fundamental concepts in school-level mathematics and science and demonstrated how these could be explained better to students using interactive methodologies, simulations, models and storytelling. Teachers were also introduced to educational resources available online.
Gnanadeepa also offered a few takeaways for the participants:
All hands on deck!
ISF received funding from Infosys Foundation and support from Infosys Limited to run the program. Passionate and knowledgeable volunteers from Infosys Bangalore’s CSR wing helped run the program.
Lighting more candles
The feedback from the teachers who have undertaken the training has been heartening. Some of them have gone on to train fellow teachers to enable more of the teaching community. We could not have asked for more than this excellent example of a single candle lighting many more.
Following the success of the pilot edition, Gnanadeepa is now an annual program. In 2015 and 2016, we conducted two types of trainings – one for in-service teachers, through Agastya, and one for pre-service teachers (B.Ed and D.Ed), with Connecting the Dots.