Bangalore, January 24, 2023: On International Education Day, the Japan International Cooperative Agency (JICA) has shared its various initiatives that are targeted at strengthening India’s education system. The aim is to help unlock the true potential of young Indians, who can then go on and contribute to the society and economy at large. Over the years, JICA has been consistently contributing to bringing positive change, among the children and youth of India and addressing to the learning crisis in both primary and higher education institutes.
In 2020, JICA signed a memorandum of cooperation (MOC) with Pratham Education Foundation, an NGO in India, and the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, a global research agency in the United States, with the objective of sharing knowledge and collaborating to improve literacy and numeracy abilities among children in developing countries. On the basis of this MOC, Pratham, J-PAL, which has achieved many research accomplishments in the education sector and has a network of researchers, and JICA will further advance their partnerships at the ground level in developing countries, and work on developing innovative models for improving literacy and numeracy abilities among children. These efforts will also contribute toward the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 4, “Improve Quality of Education and Promote Lifelong Learning.
JICA has also partnered with these agencies to hold two seminars on the School for All project, an education development project carried out by JICA, and the three agencies have mutually shared their approaches, such as innovations for improving the quality of children’s learning through collaboration among parents, teachers and communities, and effective learning techniques for literacy and numeracy.
JICA has also been engaged in supporting Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in India. In 2021, JICA signed a Record of Discussions with the Government of India for “the Project for Future Researchers at IITH (Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad) to Enhance Network Development with Scholarship of Japan (FRIENDSHIP) Phase 2”, a technical cooperation project. The purpose of the project is to establish a sustainable platform for academic and industrial collaboration between India and Japan at IITH. To achieve this, JICA will implement several initiatives such as launching the Japan Desk at IITH, student exchange programmes, supporting collaborative activities with Japanese educational and research institutes, and providing JICA research funds to enhance research and technology development and industrial collaboration between India and Japan. The construction of the buildings at IITH through the Campus Development Project, an ODA loan project, is expected to be completed this year after which the institute can accommodate more students and faculty members on campus.
JICA’s contribution to strengthening India’s education system through various partnerships and interventions is part of its commitment to help the nation achieve its development goals and build a secure future. Working with like minded partners from academia in India and across the world will help JICA make a meaningful impact in this important sector.
Most recently in 2022, JICA signed a Record of Discussions with the Government of the Republic of India for the Project of Sustainable Global Business Breakthrough Ecosystem (SGBBE), a technical cooperation project. The project will encourage the development of an ecosystem that generates business innovation across India and will contribute to the development of an inclusive Indian manufacturing industry.
Among the planned activities is to support Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and other HEIs to provide acceleration services to startups founded by students. The project contributes to the achievement of SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) Goals 8 (Decent work and economic growth) and 9 (Industry, innovation, and infrastructure).
Sharing his opinion on JICA’s education interventions, Mr. SAITO Mitsunori, Chief Representative, JICA India said, “We believe that education must be prioritized to accelerate progress towards all the Sustainable Development Goals against the backdrop of a global recession, growing inequalities, and the climate crisis. The year 2023 marks the mid-point since the UN adopted the 2030 Agenda for people, planet and prosperity, with a set of 17 interlocked goals that will come up for review at the SDG Summit in September on the theme of investing in people. Through various projects underway, JICA is committed to enhance the education system in India and the world, thereby, making a bright future for children, youth, and all.”