Disentangling the knots – School education framework and the pathway ahead

haseeb

The ever-evolving digital space is continuously making a whirl in the education sector. Covid being the catalyst and technology being the driving factor, the entire system is set for the biggest revolution in the history of education. Focussing on the school education framework, the major ignition started with the National Education Policy 2020 and now the boundaries are even expanding in terms of development. With regards to the same, Sheeba Chauhan of Elets News Network had an exclusive conversation with Haseeb Faquih, Secretary, Orbis Education Society on the shift in the school education framework. Edited excerpts:

Post covid, we have come across a new ecosystem of school education. What are current changes that are apt for the holistic development of students?

Post covid very evidently the appreciation for teaching faculty and their role in the development of students has once again surfaced. Even the most traditional schools have adopted technology that brings to life new experiences beyond the four walls of the classrooms.

The proverb “necessity is the mother of invention” was well understood at least by the teaching faculty. Many innovative tools in the field of teaching have accelerated the grasping power of students. The ease with which differentiative teaching styles are implemented now is a major revolution in itself. The enhanced teaching-learning methodology is directly proportional to the confidence building in the students. A multidisciplinary approach that has come in very handy for the teachers is no doubt a building block for the holistic development of students.

The PM recently announced the PM- SHRI scheme to build approximately 14000 schools with modern infrastructure. How will you think such steps will help the school education ecosystem in India?

The need for revamping education in India ushered the NEP, this policy can only be implemented in letter and spirit if the schools are well stocked with the latest resources, especially modern technology. PM- SHRI is a very good initiative. The improved infrastructure of schools will facilitate better instruction and improve student outcomes. Peer teaching by these lead schools will have a rippling effect in the education sector. The focus on teaching pedagogy and the change in mindsets will change the entire scenario. At these exemplar schools, the assessments are proposed more for conceptual understanding and competencies rather than rote learning, this is self-explanatory of the fact that the learning gaps can be identified and accordingly dealt with in a systematic manner. Learning outcomes will be mapped with individual graphs and with the help of technology individualised remediation would be planned.

Hybrid Learning is somewhere reducing the role of teachers in students’ growth. Do you think the introduction of technology in the education landscape can completely erase the existence of teachers?

It is all a myth, nothing at all can replace the need for teachers in students’ growth. If this was true then attendance of students post-pandemic would not be as encouraging as it was for schools. A very small fraction of parents did resist the physical reopening only for safety reasons and nothing else. Education is not about completing the syllabus, there is a vast difference between gathering information and being knowledgeable. Where technology is a necessity in the 21st century the role of the teacher has also changed with the change in learning styles. The teacher needs to be the guide by the side and help to process the relevant information. Therefore there will always be a requirement for such trained guides to hand hold the students at every step.

After NEP, everyone is aiming at a multidisciplinary curriculum. How are you planning to inculcate the same in your school?

Our school strongly believes that learning should not be compartmentalised and that a multidisciplinary approach helps the learners to understand the concepts better and grasp them faster in an informal learning environment.

After NEP, our school is equally excited to enhance the scope and depth of learning through the multidisciplinary approach as we believe that the boundaries and barriers between various disciplines need to be done away with to stay relevant in these changing times. We are working to encourage our Science students an opportunity to study entrepreneurship and Economics, our Humanities students to explore the nuances of Computer Science, and our Commerce students to delve into disciplines like Fine Arts. The learning of diverse disciplines in our understanding gives our students varied perspectives and a liberal outlook.

Amendment in the education policy was much needed. What amendments do you still think are left unattended and not focused up to the mark?

National Education Policy has covered almost all areas of concern and has addressed issues for the majority of schools in India. Although for schools there are certain questions that remain unanswered with respect to teaching primary students in their mother tongue, the local or regional language. Being a land of diverse languages this may create issues regarding migration from one region to another. Language should not become a barrier in the global world. Secondly, the gap between Sr. Secondary and graduate courses should be bridged.

The Indian education system follows multiple boards like CBSE, ICSE, or state in their schools. Which board does your school follow and why?

We follow the CBSE board as it is recognised by the Indian Government and is a National level board. People who wish to relocate to other states due to various reasons are able to provide continuity to their children without many adjustments that further help in a smooth transition for the child. Being associated with CBSE for a long time now, as a school we find it the most evolutionary board that focuses on experiential learning and the overall development of children. CBSE syllabus is designed to prepare the children for professional courses after senior secondary.

What is your enhancement plan to transform India and its populace into a 100 percent educated nation? How is your school contributing to the same?

As a school, we promote ‘Each One, Teach One’ and other social responsibility projects taken up by the students of the school to make a small contribution and support the education of less privileged and disabled children. Regular sensitisation programs and awareness drives conducted by schools will surely help and contribute towards building an educated Nation.

Your school is contributing immensely to India’s education sector. What are your expansion plans for this year and beyond?

The school envisions the movement of self-motivated learners and will widen the circle of influence in the coming years. We look forward to providing a variety of skill enhancement and vocational training to our students and instilling emotional maturity in them. Through internships and by setting up a career counseling cell in the school we want to expose our students to the world outside and make them future-ready. Very soon we shall be launching new campuses and would leverage that to expand our reach to more and more students.