The 15th UNESCO-APEID International Conference, Inspiring Education: Creativity and Entrepreneurship, is bringing together over 400 of Asia Pacific’s leading academics, educators and entrepreneurs from about 20 countries to look at examples of enterprising and successful stories from both the public and private sectors and to explore the power of creativity and entrepreneurship at a UNESCO-APEID meeting being held in Jakarta, Indonesia from 6-8 December 2011. The aim is to inspire future generations of innovative individuals to think laterally and dare to take calculated risks and become resourceful, committed, and most importantly, responsible and productive citizens of society. Education has to adapt to changes in the nature of work and facilitate the development of useful and productive members of society. The 21st century societies demand workforce who are creative, flexible, adaptable and innovative. These traits and characteristics must, and can, be nurtured through education.Key speakers include Larry O’Farrell, Professor and Holder of the UNESCO Chair in Arts and Learning, Faculty of Education, Queen’s University, Canada; Wang Libing, Professor of Education, Zhejiang University, P.R. China; Ciputra, entrepreneur, founder of Ciputra Group and Ciputra University; Santiago Uno, Founding Partner and CEO of Saratoga Capital; Sofjan Wanandi, Chairman of the Employers Association of Indonesia (APINDO) and Mira Lesmana, writer and film producer, Indonesia.
Mr. O’Farrell notes that there is an urgent need for creative problem-solvers in all sectors of economy to enhance productivity and entrepreneurship and deal with major social and cultural challenges. Consequently, education systems are more urgently called to build creative capacities in current and future generations of students. However, critics of education have pointed out that, as currently configured, most education systems are poorly equipped to meet this demand.
“In many parts of the world, rote learning continues to be the only pedagogical method used and, in more developed countries the acquisition of received knowledge is given priority over creative experimentation through the restraining effect of standardized testing,” Mr. O’Farrell says.
In People’s Republic of China it is argued that the expansion of its higher education system in the last decade has resulted in the system to be transformed from an elite system to a system of mass higher education. This is one the major factors behind the quest for the introduction of creativity and entrepreneurship in education in higher education institutions.
“The traditional academic oriented education was gradually replaced by an employment-oriented higher professional or even vocational education,” says Mr. Libing.
I think its time our IITs and IIMs lead the way of promoting creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship more intensively in India. As a respected organization if they start, more will follow.
- Chandan Raj
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