We have taken many IT initiatives but, at the same time, we need to be cautious we must check whether these ICT tools are adding any value in our system. U N Khaware, Additional Commissioner, Kendriya Vidyalay Sanathan, in conversation with Shivani Tyagi of Elets News Network (ENN).
What new initiatives have been taken by KVS to promote school education?
The existing system is still very interesting , and very scientifically drawn up , which is running for 50 years, like how we will have morning assemblies, what will be the scheme of studies, what will be the adventure activities, sports activities, NCC etc every possible area where a school kid has to be exposed. Everything has been well-designed. So our main concern is how to retain their relevance and how to see that they are effective. There are some procedural changes to be made, some systemic reforms have to be continued.
We have to keep on embarking on new initiatives not because of getting something new but because of the requirement. For instance, we have studied that our students are passing the exams, doing good jobs, but lacking in some core skills, some core competence, which makes their jobs very difficult when they advance in their lives. When you are young, your curriculum load is very less. So you manage it even without understanding it and even without the core competence. For example, how to read and write faster, how to understand things from listening and reading activities, how to communicate, how to refer to dictionary, globes, maps, how to be very much comfortable in practical part of science teaching, how to ensure concepts in social science and all? All these things are very much required.
We have launched a massive programme “Back to Basic”, which will run from class 1st to 8th. We have already prepared tool kits and distributed to all schools. A training session was conducted at all levels how to implement and monitor the project effectively. Three master trainers were selected from each region to train teachers of all kendriya Vidyalayas. The project ‘Back To Basic’ aims at ensuring level based learning outcomes as prescribed by NCERT through focused Planning, Teaching and Assessment.
Globally many schools are following innovative practices to promote teaching learning process. What are you planning to bring Indian school education segment at par with international practices?
We are also moving and growing with the time. Right now we have more than 66,000 computers and the ratio between student and teacher is 18:1 which is not at all bad. We have 10,000 e-classrooms, so as of now, each school has 10 e-classrooms. We have also established 200 language labs for our students. We have taken many IT initiatives but at the same time we need to be cautious and check whether these ICT tools are adding value in our system. The ICT tools which are available for students need to be assessed over three parameters, first — are these tools saving time? Secondly are these tools saving money? and lastly but most important is, are these ICT tools adding value to the quality of education? If these tools are fulfilling these parameters so we will provide these facilities to the students and teachers. In today’s time students have plenty of opportunities whereas in our time there were scarcity of opportunities, we had to manage things with the resource we had but now there are plenty of resources. We just want to train a child to utilise the resources and opportunities so that they do not waste time in un-necessary things that are not good for them.
Digital India and Skill India are two most ambitious projects of the Government of India, . what initiatives is KVs to digitise and skilling the education system?
We have started digital literacy classes from class third. Almost all the schools are implementing digital literacy from Class 3 – 10. Students can opt for computer Science subject in XI – XII classes for that we have appointed PGT Computer Science in every school As far as skilling the students is concerned, we believe that all these initiatives should be market-driven and not certificate-driven. If industry comes forward we will take initiatives in broader ways.
What are the key areas where KVS needs to change for good?
We are doing very well in academics. We believe we should also focus on sports. We have a huge playgrounds, Physical Education teachers. Still we need to work on the sports education. We are also trying to bring sports at par with academics. We should give marks on the bases of students’ sports activities. Secondly, we need to work on hub and spoke model of infrastructure at some location of the country so that different school students and teachers come together and utilise these resources for improving their skills.