Belagavi Smart City today announced the inauguration of the Kids Zone where cognitive skills can be measured, monitored and managed. This Kids zone is going to be inaugurated by Belagavi City South MLA Shri. Abhay Patil and the facility are on a newly built floor of the Ravindra Kaushik e-Library (Bank of India Shahpur).
The library is also upgraded with new technologies and new content as a part of its Phase II expansion. Inspired by the theme suggested by Shri. Abhay Patil, this state-of-the-art facility will be dedicated to the citizens today.
“Libraries are fast growing as epicenters of learning. Our effort is to try and bring back the past glory of libraries using the deployment of advanced technologies. And library stands as a literary pillar right from age 3.
The kid’s zone we built is a part of our effort to help kids start reading at a very young age. Great leaders of India were library-goers. Libraries built many leaders. The Ravindra Kaushik e-Library we built, stands as a great example”, said Shri. Abhay Patil.
“It is important for us to know where our kids stand in their cognitive skills. Just cramming them with books and literature does not help. Measuring height and weight is just not enough. That is why Anganwadi focuses on learning too. We need to catch them young. However, nowhere in the world is there a mechanism to measure and monitor cognitive skills with the ability to manage them automatically. This is the first Kids zone across the globe to have such a facility. It will stand as a model for all anganwadis and preschools”, he continued.
Recently Prime Minister Shri. Narendra Modi said that the states must try to integrate Anganwadis with primary schools in order to achieve the goals of the National Education Policy. Primary and Secondary Education Minister Shri B C Nagesh as a follow up said that Karnataka will implement the National Education Policy (NEP) for the pre-primary level in the current academic year. “We will be implementing it in a phased manner. In the first phase, it will be implemented at anganwadis across the state,” said Shri. Nagesh.
“The Kids Zone has facilities for children to learn using advanced cognitive tools. Though the NCERT and ECCE have cognitive skills measurement as a part of their manuals, no one could implement it in its true sense as only famous psychologists can measure these skills accurately and the process is very expensive. Anganwadi teachers try to assess children learning and not cognitive skills. This is the first public facility in India where cognitive skills are measured, monitored and managed using advanced technologies developed using cognitive neuroscience. In a way, we built a model zone and that too which is multi-lingual.”, said Dr. Praveen Bagewadi, Managing Director of Belagavi Smart City. “Belagavi stands out when it comes to the usage of advanced technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Neuroscience in the fields of literacy and education to benefit its citizens”, he added.
“Our city is the first truly inclusive city in India. We can detect cognitive skill deficiencies at an early stage so that we can identify ADHD and Dyslexia in young children and take measures to help them. The Kids Zone is a part of that initiative. At Ravindra Kaushik e-Library, we have eBooks for the Blind, ADHD and Dyslexia citizens & children. Our Mahatma Phule Park takes care of therapies for the specially abled. No other city in India has focused on education and health for the specially-abled as we did”, said Shri. Abhay Patil. “This Kids Zone facility can be used by all citizens and institutions. Our goal is to reach out to as many kids as possible. There will be a full-time pedagogist and 2 full-time librarians.”, he continued.
“It is amazing to see the Smart City start such imitative. I always wanted my grandchildren to take up reading. The Smart ebooks at the Kids zone will fulfill my wish”, said a grandfather of two children.
“I always wanted to know where my 5-year-old stands cognitively. Instead of just cramming them with pages and pages of learning, I can focus on their deficiencies while advancing their strengths. Only top institutions like NIMHANS seemed to have such experts who can measure. I am amazed to see my city have such a public facility where they can also monitor and manage the deficiencies. And all these using advanced technology”, said a mother of a 5-year-old.
It also happens to be the 7th anniversary of Smart Cites on June 25th. National Smart Cities Mission is an urban renewal and retrofitting program by the Government of India with the mission to develop smart cities across the country, making them citizen-friendly and sustainable.