February 2018

Stimulating School Learning for Higher Education

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With schools steadily turning key elements in influencing the personalities and career choices students take up later on, they are laying foundation of youngsters’ tastes or options in higher education. These schools prove to be stimulants for students’ preferences in after life, observes Akash Tomer of Elets News Network (ENN).

Be it adaptability, readiness to embrace change, fearlessness to take on challenging situations or deep curiosity to acquire knowledge beyond the given curriculums, all these key factors in the present times usually get touched upon at schools. In essence, initial learning processes play key role in shaping children’s personality that further leads to their approach towards any situations in personal or professional life.

The growing inclination among various schools to encourage carefree mindsets than remaining limited to textbooks driven thought process towards life is bringing a sea change.

It is turning a common knowledge that if education has to be relevant to ensure a good career ahead, it should also give way to holistic development of students.

A student’s educational experience can be broadly classified into three stages: preschool, school and higher education. The 12-year period of main school education acts as a foundation for one’s stream in higher education and the life ahead.

Education is no more just a process of acquiring some educational degrees and achieving monetary success, it is also determining factor to cultivate an optimistic and healthy thought process and grooming of our cognitive abilities. Here are some of the factors contributing significantly in the development of young minds as they step into adulthood. There are many schools today focusing on these factors to prepare and bridge the gap between school and higher education in students’ learning process.

CURRICULUM
Both the School education and higher education landscape in the country appear to be in transition state.In these sectors, every brand is trying to equip their students with the skills which are not only as per the requirements of industries but also help them to live a peaceful life.

Explaining about the importance of curriculum, Mukul Tyagi, Director, Icon Group of Schools said, “At ICON, The distinctive curriculum has been designed after years of research in early childhood education in such a way that the learning occurs within the context of play and active learning strategies where children are engaged in tangible and hands-on discovery experimentation and interactions with materials, their peers and nurturing adults.We believe that the “Child is Curriculum” and so we have designed the curriculum in such a way where teacher helps children build knowledge by designing concepts and activities that build on children’s prior knowledge to create understanding and information.” he added.

MENTAL ASPECT
School is the foremost pedestal of knowledge children are exposed to. It gives a chance to them to acquire knowledge on various fields of education such as people, literature, history, mathematics, politics, and other numerous subjects. This contributes to cultivation of the thought process.

There is perhaps need for schools to focus on mental ability of students. They need to be exposed to the influences coming from various cultural sources. It will help them to learn the best practices around the globe expand their thinking capabilities.

SOCIAL ASPECT
Social development involves learning values, knowledge and skills that enable children to relate to others effectively and contribute positively to family, school and the community. The first venue where a child socialises with others is school. Social capability is crucial. Without this, children are at a risk of being unable to transition successfully from school to higher education and then to a career. Good social education helps children to resolve their behaviour problems social problems, problems that often remain in adolescence and even adulthood.

With schools, children are exposed not only to new ideas but also to same-aged compatriots. This instills sociable practices such as empathy, friendship, participation, assistance which turn out to be important in their adulthood.

DIGITAL EDUCATION
This is certainly the age of technology. In every industry and aspect of life, we can feel the effects of technology. This applies to modern education world too. Since last decade, technology has affected the education sector significantly.

According to Prahar Anjaria, Chairman, RANGOLI Group of Institutes, technology may bridge the gap between school education, higher education and industry requirements.

“Education sector in India has long awaited an overhaul to meet the growing demand for a contemporary education system that is accessible to all and currently acceptable to all,” he said. “Children and youth in India have in the last decade become increasingly technology-driven, revealing considerable potential and readiness to imbibe and learn using digital media.”

“Digital India has been envisioned as an ambitious umbrella program to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. We are happy to see that the Prime Minister has introduced initiatives such as e-education, e-basta, Nand Ghar which will impart education using technologies including smart phones, mobile apps and internet services in far-flung areas where it may not be possible for teachers to be present in person. With approximately 130+ million cellular-phone households in the country, we believe that delivering education through the digital platform to children and teachers could be a potential way to bridge the education deficit,” he added.

PHYSICAL ASPECT
According to childcare experts, 75 percent of brain development occurs after birth. A child, after conception, goes through various physical developments. Physical play helps a child to develop connections between the nerve cells and the brain. While home provides a restricted outlet, in school, a child can channelise his energy into more sociable avenues. Studies have pointed out that while in familiar environment, the child is is equipped to deal with sudden bursts of energy, the learns to be at his/her best behaviour only when exposed to same- aged individuals. Plus, familiarity leads to taking advantage of situations, while in school, the playing field is leveled.

OVERALL ASPECT
Earlier, schools were considered as places to learn events in history chapter, solve tough mathematical problems or recite poems and sonnets. In current educational scenario, a child learns to go beyond the traditional way of rote learning. They are taught to develop a mind of their own and through the flexible curriculum, curiosity is promoted. The child is freed of the shackles of mental blocks and lets his/her imagination run its course. Importance of imagination is stressed upon extensively. Life is also about learning, apart from living. While we can learn to a certain extent from our parents, they tend to be unilateral. At school, children are exposed to various sources from whom they can imbibe immense knowledge, instrumental for their development. Hence school is necessary for children to inculcate “the workings of life”. Education forms the foundation of any society. It is responsible for the economic, social, and political growth and development of society in general.

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