NIAS Education for the Gifted and Talented (EGT) provides supports for gifted learners in the age group 0-18 years. This has been estimated to represent up to 3% of the group's total population. What does 'gifted' mean? (click). NIAS-EGT programmes are broadly aligned with the learning stages of the new National Education Policy, which recognizes the need for nurturing gifted children.
Support for the very young is provided through Parents' Workshops and Counselling sessions, which include guidance for school selection, curriculum choice, etc. Parent and Student Workshops are conducted for children in Grades K through 5th, as part of the NIAS-EGT General Programme (click)
Children of Grades 6th and 7th can apply for admission into Advanced Learning Centers (click) for gifted learners, at their school. Mentoring support for these children is available up to their end of schooling, until Grade 12th.
Whenever announced, students of Grades 11th and 12th can apply for the NIAS PRODIGY Fellowship, which provides a cash award funded by philanthropists and corporate sponsors for developing the student's project, as well as extended mentoring by experts around the world. NIAS PRODIGY Fellowships (click)
The Advanced Learning Center is designed to address the needs of curious children having an unusually high appetite and stamina for advanced concepts in all subjects. Students are exposed to a broad curricular framework that includes multiple disciplines, and they learn topics in Science, Technology, Mathematics, Engineering, Design, Humanities, and other non-STEM subjects. They are also introduced to tools for advanced problem solving, and work on a project of their choice.
Take a look inside the Advanced Learning Centers (click)
Activities at ALC are aimed to develop deeper competence, and to help children discover career paths leading them to expertise in their areas of interest. Children get to learn alongside other highly self-motivated students from various schools and discuss big ideas in different subject areas. Special events (including residential workshops) are also held at NIAS, and children are treated to exclusive interactions inside departments at IISc, guest lectures, etc.
There is currently no fee for students who are supported by the schools, generous individuals, organizations and sponsors of the programme. Under-served students with inadequate financial resources are also supported.
This is a continuous programme extending from as early as Grade 6th up to Grade 12th. The entry grade is typically Grades 6th and 7th, and may vary between centers hosting the ALCs.
Students already enrolled in the ALCs continue to be part of the programme in high school and beyond. ALC is an early mentoring programme, starting from as early as Grade 6th because it takes several years of close engagement with the students for achieving the objectives and goals.
Students in Grades 11th and 12th can consider applying for the NIAS PRODIGY Fellowship, whenever offered.
No. Most schools already provide coaching for college entrance tests.
Instead, a major focus of the ALC programme is to help gifted learners identify professional paths matching their interests & talents, explore deeper learning paths, and develop traits for thought leadership and expertise in their chosen fields, early on.
ALC students learn to manage time better, improve concentration, resolve fears, doubts and uncertainties, and grasp key concepts at fundamental levels. This is seen to help them accelerate their entrance exam preparations, in addition to boosting their success factors, for life.
We are currently accepting applications only from students of Grades 6th and 7th, who are nominated by schools hosting the Advanced Learning Center.
Those interested in setting up the Advanced Learning Center in their school can get in touch here: School Partners for ALC (click)
The Advanced Learning Center is, by design, a happy and stress-free learning environment for children. There is no information-based testing, or assessments that require rote memorization of facts. Children learn and enjoy higher order problem solving and advanced concepts through a first-principles approach, in a relaxed, higly collaborative setting. Take a look Inside the ALC (click)
Portfolio building is an important activity at ALC, and the students are expected to work on projects in their areas of interest. The eventual payoff from this activity is substantial; however it can require significant investment of time, spanning multiple years. We have seen that students selected for ALC generally have the self-motivation and drive to breeze through this, and enjoy the process.
Students are regularly monitored for possible learning stress and burn out situations. We have seen this happen with children who are over-burdened with too many academic and extra-curricular activities. In such cases, we actively encourage taking a break from the programme, and not let ALC add to the stress.
As a general observation, ALC is seen to benefit students who feel under-challenged by the regular curriculum, and are able to manage responsibilities by themselves, without additional remedial interventions, etc. We see that such children are able to comfortably balance academics and hobbies, while relishing the ALC experience.
ALC students typically choose their own projects in the subject areas they would like to master in greater depth.
It is unrealistic to expect most young children to have clarity about their eventual areas of specialization. They need to first become aware of the wide landscape of professional domains, sample some of them first hand, and determine what aligns best with their own aspirations and talents. This exploration happens in the ALC, and it helps children shortlist their interest areas. Many times, the exploration also helps children abandon areas that are not a natural fit for them. A small sample of ALC projects (click)
ALC also introduces children to a robust career discovery framework, which helps them make confident decisions about their professional choices.