Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal virtually launched the ‘Toyathon Challenge 2020′ on Thursday, December 3, 2020. This initiative is in line with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 to impart education to students through innovative toy technologies.
The Toy Hackathon is a venture in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of using toys aligned with Indian culture and ethos as pedagogical tools in education to make the process of learning more fun, and interactive.
“I am sure all the students participating in this competition will be aspiring to do well, and I wish you the very best. You are in for the long haul, and your vision should be to reach the global summit through these toys. Your contribution in this challenge will not only reform the educational capacity of toys, but also will be a major step towards an Atma Nirbhar Bharat,” said Pokhriyal.
“The NEP 2020 and this Hackathon are linked to PM Narendra Modi’s dream of an Aatmanirbhar Bharat. By using toys as pedagogical tools, learning will be made more engaging and interactive,” said Mr Pokhriyal.
The Education Minister also urged Amazon to help in providing digital education for students who have limited access to online learning.
The Toyathon Challenge is an initiative to invite students to design toys that reflect Indian ethos, and exhibit unique and innovative ideas whilst educating and entertaining. Toys are a subtle and interactive medium to shape concepts in children and adults, and serve as important learning tools for the development of psychomotor/cognitive skills in children.
The Amazon India head Amit Aggarwal interacted with Mr Pokhriyal during the digital launch of the event. He emphasised on the lack of playtime for children due to COVID-19, and how the digital toys might help in providing an alternative to open playgrounds.
“The period had a profound impact on children in the way they learn, and grapple with online learning. The pandemic has robbed them of playtime with friends and family members. As a result, they have missed out on a lot of opportunities to learn and develop”, Mr Aggarwal said.
The pan-India challenge will run for 9-12 weeks and is open to all students enrolled in Indian higher educational institutions. Entries will be judged on the basis of creativity, innovation, impact, aesthetics and several other factors. A cash prize of Rs 5 lakh, 3 lakh and 2 lakh is in store for the top three teams. Besides this, winners also get a chance to partner with a leading Indian toy manufacturing brand to showcase their creation.