The XSeed School of Tomorrow conference held recently where different reputed personalities talked about the scenario of today’s education and also talked about the changes it needs to bring in the Indian Education System. With the radical change that education is going through in this 21st century, the educators have to learn that how to cope up with these changes that affect both teachers and students.
Gowri Ishwaran, Padma Shri recipient and CEO, The Global Education and Leadership Foundation, who was a participant in the XSeed School of Tomorrow conference, says, “We have to deal with realities like globalisation, digitalisation, and how our brain works, which requires us to move out of our comfort zone, try different techniques while teaching, and more importantly, understand that risk-taking, decision making and problem-solving are as important for children as is the curriculum. The CBSEs curriculum is just a benchmark, a tool that can be used to go beyond the curriculum.”
While emphasizing the point that a curriculum should not be the only guiding factor in the classroom, Ishwaran continues, “Teachers should not be restricted by the curriculum but see it as a tool to facilitate the teaching and learning process. We always blame private schools as they dont take underprivileged children; but they constitute eight percent of all schools in India. It is the rest 92% of the schools that have to make a difference. The role of teachers has changed from the traditional chalk-and-talk to enablers.”
While talking about the importance of interdisciplinary teaching, Ishwaran gives an example and says, “If students get to know about the Himalayas in India, what stops them from exploring and finding out about other mountains in the world, their culture, etc? We are lucky because we live in a country where people of different cultures live together; but that aspect has to be broadened on an international scale. In terms of the curriculum, I feel students can learn about different countries and not be marked on it. It depends on how the curriculum is modernized.”
Lastly, Ishwaran talks about the measures that need to be taken in order to solve the shortcomings and says, “There is a need to be aware of the challenges of our education system in order to deal with the shortcomings. The CBSEs Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) is a noble idea, but not much attention is being paid when it comes to execution. Just printing books isnt enough. Proactive measures need to be taken. Principals in government schools dont know what CCE is. Unless they know the system, how can they implement it? Many schools are not ready to move out of their comfort zone because it requires energy and money. Private partners have commercial interests. Unless the government does something about policy while promoting a partnership between public-private partnerships, the problem will not be addressed.”