On this National Education Day, I would like to focus on our STEM Education. We are the third-largest education system in the world. Yet, not a single college/institution features in the top 100 in global rankings. We graduate over a million engineers every year but 80% of them are unemployable in the new knowledge economy and 95% are incapable of innovation. Arguably this is because our high school and college education is still mired in the colonial era based on lectures and textbooks. We design examinations to test the retention of knowledge but not how to acquire new knowledge or apply knowledge to real-world problems.
To avert the looming skill crisis brewing on the horizon, the government has been making a concerted effort to improve and update higher education in science and engineering colleges in India. I believe that the remaking of STEM education in India would be incomplete without the incorporation of a culture of making and hands-on learning known to encourage curiosity, experimentation, and an inventive mindset in students. We need faculty who are trained to transition from being lecturers to practitioners of active learning. Only with these changes would we reap the benefits of our “population dividend” with graduates who have the necessary skills to be innovators, out-of-box thinkers, master builders, and effective leaders for the nation, a public charity with a vision to modernize STEM higher education in India. MBF has partnered with the country’s top higher education institutions such as Bombay, IIT Gandhinagar, BITS Pilani, etc. to ensure that students develop real engineering skills, have an inventive mindset, and essential soft and become lifelong learners poised for success in the real world.
Maker Bhavan Foundation, formed in 2019 as a US 501(c) 3 public charity, is committed to modernize STEM higher education in India, so that its students inculcate a culture of making, active learning, innovative real-world problem-solving, and habits of life-long learning. We work with higher education science and engineering institutions, their faculty, and students, to make STEM education more relevant and responsive to the real-life needs of people and society.