The K-12 education has seen the influx of changes since the beginning of the century. Global trends in education have made their space in the Indian education system with the introduction of the International boards in Indian schools. It is known that a fundamental shift will only occur if certain practices and methodologies are radically changed.
The following are certain aspects that require revisiting and revisions.
Rote learning has ruled the roost for long and it is a prevalent mode of learning across subjects. However, the time has come when conceptual understanding, project-based learning and understanding by design pedagogical practices are proving to be infinitely better as far as the learning outcomes are concerned. It can be safely said that memorization has to be employed but can no more be an overarching method of learning.
The schools must undertake activity-based and collaborative instructional models to do away with rote learning.
Evaluation and Assessment Techniques
Assessment in the schools has to be revisited. The overemphasis on grades that are unidimensionally awarded has remained the norm. The need of the hour is to come up with assessment strategies that take into account the learning curve and individual learning abilities. The evaluation has to be made comprehensive and should be spread out in phases.
Written examinations must be supplemented by evaluation of the classroom participation, projects, communication and leadership skills.
Equal emphasis on all subjects and streams
The education system is heavily biased in the favour of science and technology. With the advent of STEM emphasis, tendency to relegate other subjects to a category of lesser importance has become common. This is detrimental to the education of the children with different aptitudes. Non-STEM subjects should be taught as interestingly and innovatively as the STEM subjects. Now, the STEM has been enriched by the addition of arts making it STEAM. Subjects like languages, communications, arts need to be put at equal footing with mathematics and science.
Raising the bar in teacher-training
The fact that the teacher-training courses need to be upgraded has been conceded to by experts and educationists across the board. There are huge gaps in the teacher-training system in the country.
The diplomas have to be made more rigorously-attained and hands-on training must be imparted. The emphasis on technology enablement is the need of the hour and teachers must be trained in the use of technology and its use in advancing pedagogy.
Teaching aptitude and behaviours are also a concern. Teachers should be trained in tenets of developmental psychology and its applications.
On-job training systems must be employed by the schools to supplement the skills of the teachers from time to time.
Introduction of technology
The age in which we live is the fourth industrial revolution, heralded by the digital technology. There is a renaissance of sorts in the arena of education technology and that must be integrated into our education system.
Technology must enter the curriculum from early schooling years and it must be used in the classes for instruction. Now, boards have introduced courses like Artificial Intelligence and Robotics in the curriculum. The acceptance for technology enabled teaching-learning devices must rise and their integration in the classrooms must become seamless.
Founder & Consultant - School Serv
Vinod Kakumanu heads a team of school services professionals and is an independent commentator on Indian school education scenario. Vinod has assisted school promoters establish 35+ schools besides providing ancillary services to over 1000 schools across India. He envisions a future where quality education is made available to every child of the country. The focus he places on the quality of the deliverables and customer satisfaction has made him renowned in the field of K-12 school education.