Dr Mona Lisa Bal, Chairperson, KIIT International School, Head of Early Childhood Association, Odisha Chapter, shares her views on changing education scenario and challenges in school education. In conversation with Seema Gupta, Elets News Network.
Please share your thoughts on evolution of education over last decade.
Education is quite significant at the moment. Global boundaries are blurring which automatically leads us to a plethora of knowledge reciprocity. Naturally, there is a very positive momentum about knowledge of world culture, international mindedness in terms of curriculum plan and design, understanding, tolerance and empathy. To be able to embrace this momentum and channelize it positively, is the most significant facet of this evolution.
“As an international school, RTE is a welcome move as it reinforces a certain basic purpose of creating innovative independent minded thinking young adults who are global citizens of the future“
What are the challenges faced in imparting education in schools?
Children and parents are more involved in the process of learning than being mere spectators. As a result, orienting and changing the mindsets of the teaching community to accept the child as an equal stake holder in the teaching learning process is a great challenge. Besides, with children being supported with child-centric curriculum and delivery patterns, experiential learning, small class sizes, healthy student – teacher ratio and digital learning processes, values and discipline are also tending to become quite hazy.
Please elaborate on effect of government policies on school education
The Right to Education Act (RTE) is a revolutionary step towards inclusive and universalisation of School Education. The CCE system is aimed at holistic learning in school. The government bodies working for expanding the provision of higher education without sacrificing quality, dichotomisation of knowledge and skills, induction of the young into a culture of thinking and linking vocational education at the university level so that it is a viable and respectable opportunity is a major positive step towards improving higher education in India.
Please shed light on various new initiatives undertaken by the school?
As part of the KIIT Conglomerate, the school has always striven to be a provider in terms of pedagogical leadership and innovation. A wonderful expression of this endeavor can be seen in Renaissance, the digital design lab for innovation and critical thinking for students’ up to Grade 8. CAS is a feature for the entire school, and not just limited to IBDP. Extended Essay is an initiative that we have customized as early as Grade 5 through Renaissance project reflections among other assignments. Creative English in the form of reading and writing challenges are a feature in the junior and middle section of the school to help students use English as the first Language at all times. The school having close proximity to KISS helps the students sensitize to the cause of the poor tribal children by engaging in various activities with these children.
How important is teacher development at KIIT International School?
Faculty development and training is an on-going process in the School. Besides,sensitizing faculty for incorporating the best practices of both international curriculums that are part of the school like IGCSE and IBDP into the national CBSE curriculum so that the transition is a matter of an informed choice for the pupil is a key area for us. A healthy interface with experts from various fields like life skill development training programs, communication skill development programs and of course regular in house, online and external expert training in their respective disciplines are practices that we follow