Agastya & Education Eco-System in Karnataka
Agastya has signed an MOU with the Government of Karnataka (GOK)/Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) to create an integrated ecosystem for hands-on science education. Backed by a Government Order, the MOU was announced by Mr. SV Ranganath, Chief Secretary of Karnataka at the Agastya Creativity Conclave in the presence of the Former President of India, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. The MOU represents a significant public-private partnership commitment towards hands-on school science education and aims to be a systems-changing innovation in science education.
The MOU requires Agastya to build and operate the following facilities:
1. An Apex Creativity Campus (modeled on Agastya's Kuppam campus) as a statewide resource center.
2. An Integrated Mega Science Center in Hubli (in parrtnership with the Deshpande Foundation).
3. Four Core Science Activity Centers in four districts.
All the centers except 2. above will be the property of the GOK, all will be managed by Agastya.
Millions of children and teachers in several backward areas of North Karnataka and other parts of the state stand to benefit from this initiative, which will leverage the existing SSA-Agastya mobile lab and mini science center network, incorporate the best practices in interactive and experiential learning and work in partnership with Karnataka's school education system.
Agastya staff under the leadership of Mahavir and Thiagarajan worked diligently to make the MOU a reality. My colleagues and I would like also to express our special thanks and appreciation to Dr. Aatre, Mr. Shivkumar, Dr. Krishnan, Mr. Dhirendra Singh, the Deshpande Foundation and the Agastya Board of Trustees for their support and leadership in creating this unprecedented partnership. The active support and encouragement of the State Education Department led by its former Secretary, Dr. Nadadur and present Secretary, Mr. Naik, the SSA led by Mrs. Sandhya Sharma (State Project Director) and Mr. BV Kulkarni (Director), the Finance, Expenditure (Mr. Jha) and Revenue Departments and others under the leadership of the Chief Secretary, GOK was crucial in launching this exciting and potentially transformative education initiative.