Best Ideas 2019 features all the nominated entries submitted under ‘Submit your Idea’ category. All the entries consist of innovative solutions or propositions for an enterprise that champions the Sustainable Development Goals. They can be on the conceptual, planning, or start-up stage.
DREAMS ( Delivering Right to Education and MORE for special people)
Explain your idea in details:
An extensive research for National Children Science Congress 2017 by me, along with my friends, led us to conclude that quality education in general and math and science education in particular are at very primitive stage for visually impaired and need strong efforts to improve the scenario. Data from the various blind schools revealed that only 1-5 % students opt for math and science subjects at high school level. This is the story all over india and probably most of the developing countries. Many ground level realities are responsible for this, ranging from lack of accessible teaching tools, paucity of quality teachers, no accessible science or math laboratories, inadequate or no use of technology, no resources in local languages and no link with livelihood opportunities. This directly leads to weak or no foundation of these crucial subjects at primary and middle school level which in turn lead to dropping of these subjects by almost all visually impaired children once these becomes optional. This not only deprive them of exercising their choice of subjects, it also lead to limited career options, inadequate livelihood opportunities and poor economic growth because majority of high paying and lucrative career options belong to STEM field. We have identified seven areas of working. 1. Developing accessible science and math laboratories 2. Teacher training, both in subject and special methods. 3. To raise an army of volunteers for effective one to one teaching 4. To apply technological innovations being used elsewhere in world 5. To develop local language resources 6. To impart life skills and soft skills training 7. To create strong linkages between these efforts and livelihood opportunities.
Expected impact of your idea on sustainable development
Our fundamental focus is on SDGs no. 4 ( quality education) and SDG no. 8 and linking the efforts of providing quality education will directly contribute to improvement in livelihood opportunities and providing wider choices in career and job options. Visually impaired people are already on the margins and fringes of society and delivery of complex issues like STEM education makes the processes even more difficult but starting early at school will help in developing strong foundation of STEM subjects and prepare them better for the job market. Adding the life skills and soft skills will make these efforts sustainable on a long term basis. We want to target students from class 3-8 to catch them early and instill an interest for these crucial subjects. Our primary aim will be to remove the phobia of these subjects at school level by modifying the pedagogical methods and introducing the fun quotient in teaching methods. Improving the job opportunities will also have positive impact on economic growth of these individuals as well as society. Similarly various focused efforts can help in bringing more visually impaired girls into STEM fields thereby improving the gender disparity in STEM fields. Thus directly or indirectly it is contributing to sustainable development goals no. 1,4,5,8,10 and 17.
Plans for implementation and sustainability
Initially we want to focus on Providing Accessible Laboratory Spaces ( PALS), for science and math, in every blind school which will act as learning areas and catalysts for these students for interesting and effective learning of these subjects.These spaces will use variety of accessible learning tools including, but not limited to, specially designed accessible science experiments, some experiments in audio described formats, online and offline accessible simulations, 3 D printer, local language subject resources, speech accessible tools, modified laboratory procedures and learning games in accessible formats. We intend to create one such area or space in every blind school which will make science and math learning interesting and fun for class 3 to class 8 students thereby creating a strong foundation to prepare them to take up careers in STEM subjects and directly improving their livelihood opportunities. As of now no such laboratories or lab spaces are existing in any blind school in India and probably most of the undeveloped and developing countries. We want to augment these efforts with simultaneous but focused interventions in many other areas including teachers training ( both subject specific and special teaching methods), raising an army of specially trained volunteer teachers who will develop a system of one to one tutoring, strong research and development team to develop more and more local language and other accessible resources and incorporating appropriate life and soft skill training to prepare them for job market. We want to raise finances through existing government schemes, corporate social responsibility funds (CSR), private donations and most important, effective and optimum utilization of available funds.
I am a class tenth student from India who is an avid film maker and loves science and math as subject and as way of life. I have participated in various international film festivals as child delegate and child jury. Lately I have developed a special interest in making short science videos and films. My various films have been shortlisted , nominated, screened or awarded at various national and international science film festivals. I started with screening of audio described films at local blind school and our close interactions with students over there made us realised the issue of science and math education for visually impaired. I have been finalist two times in Village to raise a child ( VTRAC) project of social innovation collaborative ( SIC) of Harvard university and our this project was a semifinalist at diamond challenge for high school entrepreneurs at university of Delaware, USA. Recently my film Accessible Light has won prestigious bronze beaver ( an official national award) at ninth national science film festival of india. This film explains the principles of light ( reflection, refraction and rectilinear propagation of light) to visually impaired. My another film on Principles of Diffraction was awarded first prize at annual festival of Indian institute of science competing with college students. I like playing guitar and basketball and I have cleared three levels of french exam ( DELF-DALF) as external student. I am also the member of cybersecurity committee in my school. I intend to make a career in technology and harness the benefits of technology for specially abled people specially in the fields of STEM education.