Dr T Venu Gopal Rao, Academic Director, Fusion International School, Hyderabad
We need to upgrade the Indian curriculum with new ideas for bringing maximum benefit to our younger generation. As India is a land of contradictions and dichotomies, the education system should be suitable to everyone’s needs and aspirations.
Almost 50 percent of Indians are youngsters, but compared to the Western countries, our education system lags behind. We often have instances of children feeling bored at school; this could be because education is not being delivered in a proper way. Majority of our schools are teacher-centric, and this makes the children feel that education is being imposed upon them.
There is a need to revolutionise the pedagogy. New ideas in education have to be implemented.
If Eastern educational philosophies are merged with the philosophies from the Western world, then we will be able to carve out a road for globalised and holistic education. Real education is where students can apply their skills to solve an issue, think laterally, with horizontal expertise and lateral exposure. Organisations willing to impart education should have a clear motive, vision and mission. A good team work is a necessary part of the vision.
The curriculum needs to be designed to suit the needs of the students, thus helping them utilise their skills and apply their education and learning in the future. The curriculum must be vibrantly designed and it should appeal to the younger generation of today.
A step-by-step process is a must for integrating the above skills into the curriculum. The content needs to be explained very lucidly and repeated many times. We need to have a pragmatic way of teaching; incorporation of emails, interactive boards and YouTube will help students in understanding the concepts with greater clarity.
Giving enough room for higher order thinking skills (HOTS), journal writing, creative writing and interdisciplinary learning needs to be encouraged.
The schools can also try to indulge the students by having entertaining assemblies, which also foster learning. During the assembly sessions, the students can present their talent through a skit, presentation, poem or song. The students will thus develop confidence to face the crowd even before sensing stage fear.
Primary school assembly may be segregated from pre-primary assembly. Students of pre-primary can recite rhymes and tell stories in their assemblies. This will encourage learning by emulation. It will also make way for better bonding between the students.
It is important for the schools to take parents along in all their initiatives. The parents must be convinced that this kind of programme will build up self-esteem, strength in concepts with knowledgebased learning and will lead to the road of success in their lives. It is important to be communicative with the parents regarding the programmes conducted in the school. Regular parent orientation helps the parents align themselves with the curriculum and keep abreast of the latest programmes in the school.
A lot of preparation and planning is required from the teachers and senior administration to implement the programme. Continuous comprehensive evaluation must be implemented in schools, because you cannot evaluate a child’s potential with just marks obtained in the examination. Group discussion on a question or a topic is compulsory. Teachers have to plan the lessons and elicit answers from the students on a constructive theory of learning. They should build the concept and add information to what the students have learnt.
Physical education has replaced physical training. Theory and practical lessons have to be conducted by the sports personnel. Both indoor and outdoor games need to be stressed upon. Curriculum must be designed to allow the students to stay fit, both mentally and physically. The right kind of balance between height and weight is important. A regular regimen of 3 to 4 minute aerobic lessons is a must.