Over the years, I have realised, that as a society, we focus on a single point agenda for our children: score high marks, get top grades. There is hardly a healthy dialogue with them which does not revolve around mark sheets. Our agenda is based on the premise that the highest scorer will be the most successful person in life. The irony is that most parents know the futility of that premise. Our current education system has remained unchanged for decades hence becoming ineffective and redundant, it has left most students with the skill of rote learning but not application. Although, there are some children who are blessed enough to know what is right and engage on that path with good guidance.
Academicians can play a bigger role in the overall construct. How do we give learners a real foundation for life, help them build self-confidence so that they are not limited in knowledge acquisition and understanding? Once we take the right approach, once we accept them as they are, we will be able to work as silent catalysts, in helping them to become responsible adults in the society. It is about future-proofing them, against an uncertain world.
We must train our children to stand strong and stand out in the crowd. Explore options. Accept their failures. Speaking for myself, there were times when I used to get dejected, disheartened and disinterested in my job. After reflecting and reading extensively, I figured the key to success lay in working to making a change in the system and making a difference to young lives.
New Form of Teaching for Life
The role of academics in real life, after we get into the workforce, is limited. All students are not the same although they go through the same education and evaluation systems. That is why we took an experimental, inclusive, and yet very effective educational approach in my school. To evoke 21st century awareness and readiness, we offer some innovative programmes: Neuro Linguistic Programming, Double Doodle Brain Gym, Graphology, Colour Therapy, Body Language, Psychology, Fashion Hair Styling, Personal grooming, Gender Equality, Home Science, etc. We teach the children essentials of life at a tender age, between Std. 4 to 10.
This 21st century concept has led to many positive changes in my students. They have turned out to be confident students. They ask the right questions and create a space of their own in these sessions. And, something important for our ever-demanding parents: the students are showing improved academic performance, as well. We want to make them future ready with our bouquet of knowledge and soft skills to lead confident happy and successful lives.
As school leaders, we need to think about what is important in life – beyond getting scores in academics. Let’s be creative and get learners out of their comfort zones and help them understand the real meaning of life while they are in school.
What’s in a name? Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organises knowledge in the form of empirical explanations and predictions about the universe. Economics is all about money and weighing different choices or alternatives which may or may not involve money.
The above initiative of giving innovative choices to students – all linked to real life is called ‘Life Economics’ and if adopted by school leaders it can change the outcomes of learning to learning for life.
Let us unfurl life from school itself.
Mrs. Mansi Gagrani Bhadade
Ujjwal Sprouter International