When unconditional cash transfers are introduced to communities, we often see self-organised initiatives arise such as community-based decision-making, initiatives to improve quality of education, projects to improve sanitary and/or drinking-water facilities, initiatives to share resources and knowledge, etc. Although we are not there yet, we are confident that a Basic Income will be implemented in the future. We also foresee and embrace a future where freedom of choice is the norm and self-organising communities take care of themselves and their surroundings.
The generation of the future should co-create the future. Current school education is by and large pre-dominantly geared towards securing ranks to enable professional studies which in turn lead to individual careers. When current job opportunities and salary prospects are the main factors that influence students in their choice of field of education, the so-called ‘4th industrial revolution’ may interfere. Not only so-called ‘blue coloured’ (low-income) jobs will disappear, also ‘white coloured’ jobs are affected by automation. A choice based on intrinsic motivation and passion rather than career opportunities and salary prospects is needed to prepare ourselves for a happier and healthier future.
This is why we include middle school children in our mission and collaborate in the exciting Self-organised Learning and Innovation Hub, (SOLI- Hub) program.
Here, children collaborate to devise and test tech-based solutions for local pain points. The emphasis of the project is on the entire process of learning and forging a deep connect with their immediate surroundings, communities and the environment. If children get the freedom to explore, investigate, discover and experiment, their motivation to learn and innovate grows exponentially. The focus is on enabling independent thought, promoting critical thinking skills and creativity. Further, the project seeks to inculcate values like sensitivity towards the environment, judicious and optimal use of resources.
SOLI- Hub is aimed at children of the age-group 12-15 already enrolled and studying in schools. It complements the school system and is carried out in collaboration with schools and communities. The preference is to reach out to the rural schools and also those where children from poorer communities study.
SOLI-Hub is based on the principles of enquiry-based learning and social constructivism. More specifically, it uses educationist Sugata Mitra’s methodology of Self Organised Learning Environment (SOLE), a system where children are introduced to a Big Question which they research on the Internet, analyse and make a presentation. They work on their own with no adult intervention and freely organise themselves in groups that are fluid. Marrying this with design thinking, the SOLI-Hub project encourages children to innovate and solve problems they see and experience in their immediate environments. In the SOLI-Hubs, children choose the subjects and raise the questions themselves. Children opt to join voluntarily and are free to drop out at any stage. The idea is to offer absolute freedom of choice.
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We regularly document the learning process of the children in the SOLI-Hubs. You can watch the videos here: