Over 210 eminent educators and enthusiastic students came together at the third ITIHAAS - Leaders in Heritage Education Summit 2012 - Knowledge of Yesterday & Curriculum of Tomorrow, held today in New Delhi.
The summit set a platform for innovators in education to showcase breakthroughs in creative learning methodologies that attempt to take education beyond the classroom and enable experiences that last a lifetime. The outcome of the summit was the creation of a synergy between the various stakeholders responsible for a child's education, with a focus on heritage education that ultimately leads to responsible citizenship.
Dr Gautam Sengupta, Director General, Archeological Survey of India stated, "There is an urgent need for restructuring our curriculum and taking children out of the classroom to enliven the past, and government bodies are also deliberating this issue. ITIHAAS is playing an important role in this arena by directly involving the next generation in preserving our heritage through education."
The summit saw Shri Pavan K Varma, India's Ambassador to Bhutan institutionalising the ITIHAAS Resource Centre and unveiling an assessment report on the position of the heritage education program, drafted by ITIHAAS in collaboration with the Department of Social Work, University of Delhi.
Eminent thought leaders including Mrs. Vibha Parthasarathi, Former Principal - Sardar Patel Vidyalaya; Mrs. Joy Michael, educationist and theatre personality; and Dr. Farid Ahmed Nizami, descendant of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya; Mr. R. Sreenivasan - Co-founder, Nalanda Education Foundation and Smt Priyaraje Scindia, Trustee, Gwalior Heritage Foundation addressed a diverse audience comprising principals, teachers from reputed public and government-aided schools.
Ms. Smita Vats, Founder Director - ITIHAAS reiterated, "Today's children are not exposed to learning through simple experiences that we took for granted, like walks and picnics. ITIHAAS is attempting to connect these dots through the medium of stories, relationships and direct interactions with their surroundings; thus enabling learning through meaningful experiences."
Amongst the attendees were renowned education and culture ambassadors including Pervin Malhotra - student counsellor; Dr Kapila Vatsyayan - Founder, IGNCA; Payal Randhawa - Khemka Foundation; A K Merchant - President of the Bahai community; Dr. Lalit Kumar - Secretary of the National Foundation for Communal Harmony and Mrs. Ranjana Saikia - TERI along with school students, who shared their experiences and learnings with ITIHAAS.
Notes to Editor
ITIHAAS is an educational trust registered under the Indian Societies Act, born out of a concern that children were getting increasingly alienated from their traditions and heritage. It came into being in the year 2004.
The ITIHAAS network involves students from varied socio-economic backgrounds. Today, over 45,000 students from 380 member schools - established public schools as well as government-aided schools - in Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon, Gwalior and Ahmedabad are on board and the numbers are only increasing. ITIHAAS is gradually including students from lesser privileged backgrounds as well.