The current pandemic has affected all sectors including education. In India only 22 % of the children are able to log on to remote or virtual schooling, for the majority of students, learning is sporadic, depending on availability of devices and connectivity.
Restructuring our education system is the need of the hour. For a long time our education system, has resisted change, the pedagogy and content has been faithful to traditional didactic methods of teaching-learning. Rote learning has habituated parents and students to follow the same structure of education, and use this knowledge to get admission in higher education.
Parents’ lack of awareness about remote learning is leading to frustration. Students in higher classes face uncertainty in terms of admissions. Against this background, it is important to hand hold parents with compassion, bring them on board with the new kind of education, that is the need of the hour.
When one gives serious consideration to the process for restructuring education based on the new paradigm of inclusiveness, the question that arises is, how? It is important that the process is consistent with the end goals of inclusivity and equity, to achieve. We are all acquainted by experience with processes that are dehumanizing in an endeavour to accomplish goals of humanisation.
To effect change, focus must not be on the individual alone, it should be a broader institutional change leading to success.
To address the current crisis, restructuring of the education system is imperative with the following features:
- Share planner with parents to give them a head start about the child’s educational and behavioural growth, with a positive approach
- Involve parents in the school activities; get them to acknowledge, every week, tasks completed by their wards; online PTMs can be conducted
- Suggest project-based activities where the child can explore the topic with parents
- Initiate experiential learning in remote & virtual classrooms.
- Application oriented teaching approach
- Keep communication open so that the new project-based learning approach is understood and accepted by most parents
- Make moral values sessions and systems mandatory
- Assessment objective must be shared with parents and the children. It will give them a sense of importance and remove fear factor.
- Activities pertaining to building responsibilities in children are important.
- Building self-compassion and self-confidence are key aspects of every approach and initiative.
- Talent hunt activities to be included in the curriculum and weekly planner.
- Transact a differentiated lesson in the classroom
- Train students to think and ask questions
Teachers are magic makers
A child learns by observing, imitating, listening, understanding and by experiencing situations. A teacher is a role model for her students – he motivates, inspires and nourishes a child’s thought process, making a skilled, abled and responsible citizen.
However there is a flip side to it, a teacher may have an adverse effect on the self-esteem of his/her students through discouraging words and actions which may lead to many students giving up in life. Training programmes help teachers understand their students better and incorporate effective teaching strategies to make the class a powerhouse of ideas, creativity, ambition and positivity.
Let’s continue to inspire lives for a better tomorrow…Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai said, “Books and our pens, they are the most powerful weapons. One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world. Education is the only solution. Education first.
Dr Sanghamitra Banerjee
Gateway International School