Bengaluru, Karnataka, India (NewsVoir) • Survey conducted by Quest Alliance in Mysuru and Tumakuru districts of Karnataka • Kantar in association with IBM and Quest Alliance to provide experiential science education to 40,000 high school students in 9 districts of Karnataka to encourage scientific temper A survey among high school students has revealed that only 13% of the students are curious to explore technology behind gadgets used in daily life. The survey on ‘behaviour and attitude of high school students in Karnataka towards technology and 21st century skills’ was conducted by non-profit organization Quest Alliance among 1,572 high school students of Karnataka. The research revealed that only 11% of the girls and 16% of the boys are curious enough to explore technology behind day-to-day gadgets. The survey was conducted in as many as 27 schools in Mysuru and Tumakuru districts of Karnataka. Announcing the survey findings at a press conference in Bengaluru on Wednesday, Neha Parti, Director (Schools), Quest Alliance, said that the research clearly highlights the need for improving 21st century skills and scientific temper among our students in rural areas. In this context, Kantar, a leading global insights firm and IBM, a global technology firm, have come together to launch a programme to promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education among 40,000 high school students in nine districts of Karnataka. Quest Alliance, the knowledge partner, will roll out the programme in Mysuru, Tumakuru, Bengaluru Rural, Chitradurga, Yadgir, Raichur, Gadag, Hassan and Chikkaballapura districts. “This programme will provide experiential learning to students through ‘learning by doing’ approach. This means that these 40,000 high school students will no longer need to memorize complex scientific concepts from textbooks. Through this programme, students will get an opportunity to tinker and build tech-based solutions to problems that they identify,” Neha added. This initiative will supplement the existing school curriculum by providing digital fluency, coding and scientific temper through Hackathons and STEM Clubs to promote STEM education among high school students. The programme will also support the students in their career journey through scholarships, career counselling, and role model interactions with different professionals. Speaking about the partnership, Preeti Reddy, Chairwoman-Insights Division, South Asia at Kantar said, “We believe that there is a need to enable greater exposure to STEM education for students and teachers in order to build the workforce of the 21st century. Equipping them with critical thinking, and problem-solving skills is not just desirable, but essential if we are to be future-ready. Kantar is delighted to support Quest Alliance’s EcosySTEM programme to help facilitate and drive this change.” Sharing his thoughts on the collaboration, Manoj Balachandran, Head of CSR, IBM India/South Asia, said, “We are at the forefront of helping young students understand the importance of STEM education, create excitement for this field and demonstrate its potential impact on their future career. By integrating the IBM STEM for Girls initiative as part of its outreach, the EcosySTEM platform will empower 40,000 students with classroom trainings and mentorships to prepare for a career in STEM.” According to the Unified District Information System for Education 2019-2020 data, the drop-out rate from school to pre-university college is a cause of concern. While 95.8% of girls transition from grade 8 to 9, only 74.7% move from grade 10 to 11. As many as 71% of boys said they were naturally better than girls in mathematics and science and 19% girls also agreed that boys were better than girls in these subjects. Ms Neha said these findings reinforce some of the gender stereotypes and hence it is imperative that modules on gender awareness are given emphasis. The survey also found that only 66% of students had poor understanding of 21st century skills which include communication, critical thinking and decision making among others. Other findings of the survey: • 39% of the female students surveyed said they currently have a personal social media account (Instagram, YouTube, Facebook etc.,) as opposed to 65% of the male students.
• 65% of the female students indicated that they were confident/very confident in using computers as opposed to 58% of male students.
• Nearly 92% of male students and 87% of female students that they had used internet in the last 3 months to search for more information on the topics they were studying.
About Quest Alliance Quest Alliance is a not-for-profit trust that equips young people with 21st century skills by enabling self-learning. We design scalable solutions that enable educators to address critical gaps for quality education and skills training. We facilitate learning networks and collaboration to bring about systemic change fuelled by research and Innovation. For more information, please visit: www.questalliance.net. About IBM India For the latest annual corporate responsibility report describing IBM’s leadership and accountability in how it collaborates with communities, clients, governments, shareholders, employees, and not-for-profits on environmental, social service, and governance issues, please visit here. Follow IBM’s corporate social responsibility initiatives by following @IBMorg or visiting www.IBM.org. About Kantar Kantar is the world’s leading marketing data and analytics company. We have a complete, unique and rounded understanding of how people think, feel and act; globally and locally in over 90 markets. By combining the deep expertise of our people, our data resources and benchmarks and our innovative analytics and technology, we help our clients understand people and inspire growth. For more information, please visit www.kantar.com.
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