The performance of a student is governed by factors such as parents’ cooperation and teachers’ educational background, too. As the world changes, learning from books alone may not be sufficient to build a career or for a creative pursuit in the course of one’s life.
The Quality Education Study 2011 (QES) by Wipro Applying Thought in Schools and Educational Initiatives, which maps the quality of India’s top schools, finds that co-scholastic activities are yet to find maximum support. The last of a four-part series in Mint, along with independent reporting, details the background factors that promote holistic education.
Learning while having fun
Educationists, teachers, industry experts and students believe a teacher’s educational background is key to developing a better understanding of a subject taught in the classroom.
The background factors
Students’ reading habits
One in every five students does not want to read books
One in every 10 students does not read a newspaper
Fees per annum (Rs )
At least 42% of the schools tested had more than 50% of their students from economically affluent homes, while 38% of schools had fewer than 10% of their students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.
Most popular sports
The nine most popular sports offered in schools are basketball, cricket, football, volleyball,athletics, table tennis, badminton, throwball and handball. Our national sport, hockey, was offered in only four of the 89 schools that participated in the study.
Frequency of sessions for practising co-scholastic activities in schools
They believe co-scholastic activities make learning fun and are in favour of promoting the idea of “learning while doing”. If you want students to be creative, there should be equal emphasis on beyond the classroom.
Parminder Gill, Co-founder, Edusports
Sports should not be considered an extra-curricular activity. For holistic education, it must be a part of the main curricula. Schools or parents should not feel that if a student wants to become an engineer or a scientist, he can easily avoid playing games. Like coursework, it should be assessed regularly for complete growth of a student. The silver lining is that things have started changing.
Prakash Iyer, Faculty member, Azim Premji University
The problem is evident in the term “co-scholastic” itself. Our children spend a significant part of their formative years in school, supposedly preparing for life. But life has so many different motivations, experiences and goals to offer—not only learning a few subjects. Why dismiss everything else as unimportant or mere accessories to subject learning—or co-scholastic?
Sreekanth Sreedharan, Wipro Applying Thought in Schools
One of the purposes of this study was to broaden the domain of what is considered quality education. Schools also partly shape how we view others and their problems—in the immediate community or in society. Through co-scholastic areas, highlighted today, we learn how to appreciate, have fun, work in groups and take a win or loss in stride. Shouldn’t we see these as an integral part of this fuzzy word—quality?
Shuyesha Dutta, Student, Class 8, Tagore International, Delhi
The knowledge base and a better qualification background of a teacher is important for the students’ understanding of a subject. The teacher is the key person who directly communicates with students. Learning through sports is like having fun while studying a subject.
Wipro Applying Thought in Schools is a social initiative of Wipro’s working on school education reform. Educational Initiatives (EI) is one of South Asia’s leading educational research organizations that works for improving student learning in schools. Click here to download the complete QES report.
Graphics by Ahmed Raza Khan/Mint
Also See | Beyond the classroom (PDF)
• Also See | The education challenge