Our country is changing everyday. In fact, areas such as economy and technology are so dynamic that they are growing at an overwhelmingly rapid pace.
Why then has the education system barely evolved? Why haven’t we seen any significant improvements?
Sure, the recent growth of alternative schools is a ray of hope, but let’s face it. Such schools are a luxury. Largely, the Indian education system continues to revolve around three things – science, mathematics and basic English – all of which are tested in age old formats.
All of us do know that the system needs to change. And at Vidyartha, we’ve made a list of 10 things that have got to see a turnaround.
#1 – Out with rote learning, in with skill-based education
Every year, Indian teachers, students and parents are focused on cramming information. The best students are considered to be ace crammers. This is a fundamental flaw in our system, and the only way to rectify it is by teaching students skills. That way, we add value to them for a lifetime. After all, it isn’t knowledge when almost everything is forgotten right after the exams are over.
#2 – Valuing the teaching profession and getting smart ones
Why do so many “bad teachers” exist? Why do most smart people choose other career paths? The answer is simple – teaching as a profession is not valued. That needs to change so that we begin to see more and more smart teachers. Teachers ought to be competent, inspiring and energetic, not the face that students want to avoid.
#3 – Help! It’s the grading system
Evaluating students merely based their performance in a three-hour exam driven by mugging is not a great idea. What were we thinking? Parroting a bunch of theories don’t teach them anything about the subject. The axis of grading needs to be revamped to also include classroom participation, project/practical work, communication skills, leadership traits and extracurricular performance. It is only then that genuine talent will be recognised.
#4 – Embrace technology in education
Sure, technology is just a tool – and it is ultimately the teacher that counts. But imagine what we can do with technology in the classrooms! It does not have to be full of hassles – that’s a wrong notion. What’s more, technology makes learning engaging and is thus a handy guide for every teacher. It’s no competitor or replacement – it just makes the teacher’s job more exciting.
#5 – Emphasise on creativity, research and originality
Our education system usually disregards that factor which deserves the biggest accolades. Students are taught to mindlessly obey the rules and follow orders without questioning. Being different or taking risks is discouraged. Once our education system is built to recognize original contributions, problem solving, research and innovation, we can say that the Indian education system has successfully changed for the better.
#6 – Eradicate excuses for an external tutor
With the rise in the number of children taking up tuition since a young age, brain drains, aversion towards learning and poor performance are common. If learning is revolutionised in school, there won’t be a need for all of this. Plus, the child gets a break!
#7 – Respect for all subjects, courses and careers
How long are we going to keep being obsessed with engineering, medicine and MBA? Is it sensible to drool over the IIMs and IITs alone, when the diverse streams and fields we have are just as important? The moment we stop this discrimination, we can proudly showcase talent from across streams – and students’ lives will be much brighter.
#8 – Change the basis and methods of handling rewards and punishments
We need to revise our basic values. Rewarding blind obedience while punishing students who are quick-witted and think out of the box is the worst thing we can do. Also, the modes of reward and punishment need to be relooked at. Corporal punishment is obsolete. Let’s look at students as responsible individuals and reason out with them rather thank talk down to or dismiss them.
#9 – Promote collaboration
Teaching students to work together towards a common goal is the best thing for their future – because that’s exactly what they’ll have to do at work. It strengthens initiative, people skills, problem solving, strategising and leadership skills while promoting teamwork.
#10 – Personalise learning
No two learners are the same. As cliched as it may sound: no one size fits all. Tailoring learning to suit each individual’s unique strengths, interests and gaps can make the process engaging as well as more effective.
And we are certainly evolving. Over 3,000 schools have taken a step in the right direction with Vidyartha. If you’d like to do that too, fill in your details and we will give you a call to tell you more.
Or give us a missed call at 080-33013095.
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