Transforming School Education

The World Education Summit 2011 organised exclusive sessions pertaining to school education on various thematic issues like meeting global standards in school education; power of ICT, continuous and comprehensive evaluation. The sessions were graced by eminent speakers from the government, academia and industry across the world, chair: Prof M A Siddiqui, Former Chairperson, National Council for  Teacher Education (NCTE)who shared their ideas towards building effective school education system. Report:
Speakers:Shakila Shamsu, Former Joint Adviser, Planning Commission, Government of India

Dr Thomas Christie, Director, Aga Khan University Examination Board
Son Kuswadi, Education Attach

The session highlighted the divergent local learning processes and consequences of exposure to international duress. Issues such as localised learning in a global context, dynamics within network relations and effects of regional cooperation in education were addressed in the session. It is important to know how localised future learning spaces need to be and how can they maintain their cultural relevance and authenticity, while simultaneously catering to a global community and encouraging dialogue between culturally dichotomous groups of learners. Suggestions for deriving local solutions from global data were discussed by the panelists. There is a need to bring about a change in learning and examine the examination boards. ICT set up in classroom should go beyond the hardware and extensive use of internet can enhance the reach of content. It is very important that the context should be provided,
which can be achieved by creating easy to understand methodologies like docu-dramas,  comics/graphic novels on curriculum content, and by creating  a platform to compete. Moreover, incentives for learning can also be created and to promote science by organising technology competition for school students.
• Focus on glocal solutions in education
• Address challenges in teaching as a profession
• Stress on teachers’ development
• Modify teachers’ training and capacity building to
meet global standards keeping local reality into account
• Collaborative learning to be encouraged
• Transformed learning experience with ICT
• Innovate to learn
• Adaptability is significant
The session deliberates on key issues in the school education sector. Keeping pace with students who are becoming more tech-savvy, schools are taking to the concept of digital classrooms — a new education technology that assists teachers with course-ware and maintenance support in digital format. Not just technology, schools are adopting diverse and innovative ways of  teaching and learning. Changing patterns of teaching and learning in school education today  is prime need, which can be promoted with the help of innovations in technology that have impacted the school education system. Global trends in classroom teaching systems should be adopted in future classrooms. The panelists talked about methodologies to digitise classrooms. Future classroom should be designed to meet global expectations, which can be achieved with industry acdemia collaborations. The future classroom has to keep pace with the changing role of learner and Many countries across the world are seeking to adapt their education  systems to the needs of contemporary society, thereby resulting in expectations for schools and school leaders to change. The aim of this session was to design key strategies to promote excellence in school education and to see the global case studies and best practices that have improved quality and enrolment in schools. Session focused on very important points, which lead to excellence in school education. Assessmentdriven curriculum design evaluation, and curriculumanalysis is very crucial to create excellence.  To address the challenges in creating excellence, bringing parity to different IQs and skill issues, there is a requirement of collaborative schooling and pooling of teaching talents to create out of box thinking attitude.
It had been highlighted in the session that the elementary school system is the foundation  upon which edifice of a nation’s education system stands. There is a need for collaboration between different systems of education.
• Collaborative schooling
• Pooling of teaching talents
• Creating “out-of-box” thinking attitude:
• Needs convergence of vision between policy    maker, practitioners and educationists
• Resource support through technology
• Infrastructure that facilitates learning and promotes the objectives of inclusion

Univeralisation of School Education: Strategies for Achieving Millennium Development Goals  (MDG) in Education…
intense efforts in universalisation of primary education. Off late, efforts are also moving  towards universalisation of secondary school education. The session discussed strategies for the universalisation of school education and highlighted issues pertaining to universalisation and achievement of MDG proposed by United Nations. In this century, we have been struggling with the universalisation of school education. Today, notion of literacy is no longer restricted to reading, writing and numeracy. Education has to help create an environment that is conducive to the cultural economic and social development of the people of this country. The out of school children, drop-out rate, which is still heavy in the country, are constraint in  achieving MDG. Other concerns that interrupts the socio-economic growth includes  indifferent community, largely zeal-less teachers, inertia in the administrative machinery,
and female lliteracy. CBSE from the past three-Five Year Plans has been focusing on four objectives to universalise education: equity, access, relevance and quality, which has been reflecting in the various scholarships and
schemes like vocationalisation of education, CTET
test for quality teachers, CCE. Right to education, access to school and facilities, problems in vocationalisation like perception of inferiority, no direct linkage with job need to be addressed.
There is a great need of Public Private Partnership for addressing difficulties in pursuing  higher education. Private sector also showcased their innovations and
solutions to give a boost to MDG. NIIT Limited talked on Nguru solutions’ role in MDG. He emphasised that
the promises we made under MDG should be kept. Ncomputing showcased it’s desktop virtualisation that can minimise cost of computing.
Solutions to achieve MDG:
• Enrollment to retention,
• Community mobilisation
• Smooth transaction: elementary to secondary
• Policy driven accreditation of schools
• Financial inclusion of students
• Emphasis on skill development
• Provision of Rs.231233 Crore for the plan period 2010-11 to 2014-15

School Education Leadership Conclav e: Building Visionary Schools of the 21st Century :
The education leadership gave their vision talk on the future of education. The session   deliberated the strategies that will usher in a new era in education. The purpose of the session was to understand the issues and challenges in managing secondary school education and prepare a response to resolve them. School has to convert the child’s innate abilities into capabilities to meet the challenges of real life. Schools should enable children to cope up with changing world with technological advancement and along with flexibility to excel in any  field of his choice. Panelists discussed the vision for 21st century provision of a particular environment for academic excellence and all round development for schools.
Suggestions for 21st century schools
• Need for visionary educational leaders in the society
• Teacher-led learning is needed to change to collaborative  learning and research   and              discovery based learning
• From ‘school-centric’ learning to anywhere/any-time learning, flexible learning schedules, technology enabled /assisted learning
• Role of the school should change from the ‘centre’ of learning to ‘another place’ of learning

From Conventional Ass essm ent Practices to Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE): A Review of Best Practices :
At the centre of the transformation that school education is undergoing presently is the new  perspective on assessment and its relationship to the teaching-learning process. In recent years, there has been a growing concern for improving the quality of achievement of all learners at elementary and secondary level. Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) has been one of the major reforms in the School Education Sector in India. The panelists talked about various aspects of assessment. Session discussed the need of continuous assessments to support learning in schools and most importantly the key differences in  conventional assessments systems and CCE. There are many challenges in adoption of CCE There are more than 40 boards in the country but only few boards like CBSE, Kerala board,  and Haryana board has adopted this evaluation. There is a lot of criticism among schools for CCE. Though CCE is there in schools but serious considerations are lacking. Awareness and discussion on CCE is required. The role of teacher is important in CCE. Many teachers are not clear with CCE therefore extensive training is required. Conventional assessment practices stress on summative assessment for pass/fail. It does not focus on higher order outcomes. It is stresses not learner friendly. On the other hand, CCE stress not merely on cognitive domain but it attempts at identifying and recognizing/rewarding individual ability in diverse fields.
Dr Agarwal in the session suggested its model of CCE that is in text questions exercises in  very lesson of study materials for self-evaluation. Tutor marked assignments, two public examination in a year, on deemed examination, and life skills being integrated into the curriculum and study materials of all subjects for comprehension levels of fundamentals in a
child’s mind were emphasised
• Re-look at the entire teaching learning process
• Modifications that the entire school system, and all stakeholders have to make
• Being truly child centric
• Teacher’s Training
• Re-allocation of funds and resources