Education is considered as the cardinal tool towards development of a nation, with a mission that no one is left behind through Right to Education by focusing on access, equity, inclusion, quality and learning outcomes. Of all these parameters, it’s the quality which is acknowledged as the most important criterion for improving learning outcome. It’s always in the hands of a teacher whether one would like a subject or not. There is no requirement to feel intimidated by any subject. It’s the responsibility of curriculum framers; and teachers to turn the dry facts into experimental learning with a real life connect, unfolding the richness of the subject. Therefore, a pedagogy which focuses on how interesting content can be through joyful teaching methodology makes learning enthralling. The building block of any society depends on its educational standards.
The Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) pattern for grade 10 examination has been started last year to grade the 10th class examinations. In this context, it may be mentioned that the CCE pattern was implemented in the later half of 2009 on students of 9th class at that time. The system was initiated by Mr. Kapil Sibal, the then Minister of Human Resource Development. The CCE was introduced to reduce excessive pressure in grade 10; but the grade 12 load was not reduced. Under the CCE students are categorized with a grade. Therefore no marks are reflected and no segregation is done of worthier from worthiest. Internal papers were checked by school teachers, with the possibility of favoritism not ruled out.
With the new NDA Government, the HRD minister has decided to roll back CCE and reinstate the old board examination system. This is like subjecting the present grade 9 students into a methodology which they are not acclimatized with. Undoubtedly Board Examination will inculcate a level of seriousness in students. But experimentation with education will not only affect our children in terms of quality education but also fail us in reaping the advantages of demographic dividend that we are so proud of. The primary objective is to invest in ability, aptitude and competence development, keeping diversified student capability in view. The need is to work towards a curriculum which reflects international mindedness, to see that our children develop the spirit of enquiry and a yen for research. What may appear true today could be proven false tomorrow for the reason that children need adoptable skill to apply in various areas of life; and how to interpret information reflecting a changing world and its challenges.
We are strongly focusing on the pedagogy, on how interesting a content can be through teaching methodology with a real life connect ,considering our students pushing us to think about issues which are contemporary and challenging, like Bob Dylan getting Nobel Prize raising hackles! In a recent development where the Supreme Court has directed that paying regard to our national anthem in theatres, is a bourden duty is reflective of how patriotism is to be worn on the sleeves! In a world where the amount of knowledge doubles every 12 months, it’s a serious call to think carefully about the nature and content of the curricula that we construct for our students, in order to adapt to a world that is on a fast paced knowledge escalator.
Bertrand Russell had delectably observed: “In the state of New York, it was until lately illegal to teach that communism is good and in Soviet Russia it was illegal to teach communism is bad. No doubt one of these opinions is true and one false; but no one knows which”. Among the various skills, being happy is considered as a skill to be honed in children. Fundamentally happiness quotient of children is directly proportional to the happiness quotient of the facilitators. The educators have to be gay, gleeful, gratified, creating a contented atmosphere for our children. This is the first threshold they cross to confide, trust, place confidence in and move towards a self assured environment where they can work on their other skills. Amongst children if mentors work towards a central core moral compass, it grounds them as children and gives them immense self confidence as adults to meet future challenges creatively enabling them to improvise on them.
The World Economic Forum has predicted that our nation’s GDP would be at 9%in 2019; the challenge therefore, would be to forecast a future curriculum which will equip our children to live upto this future and control an uncertain future? I rather think that we should equip student with the skills to be prepared for the future. It depends upon us as mentors and parents to stimulate, provoke, facilitate education in a way that learning becomes curious, creative and confident.
At times I feel many a life is lived without the realization of one’s strength or where lies one’s happiness. Today it’s important that we attire our children with the expertise required to confront the future with courage, determination and resoluteness; in short to discover them and realize their real potential. Or as Ben Johnson would write: “In small proportions we just beauty see – In small majors life may perfect be”. Learning can be both joyous and seamless once the educator and the students walk together, ideology free, on the escalator of knowledge.
The author is a Chairperson, KiiT International School