The education challenge

The education challenge

Education at the crossroads?

The stakeholders concerned believe that education in India is at the crossroads—while change is slowly being embedded, a large section of schools run by the government need to pull up their socks. Contrary to perception, they strongly feel that rote learning is not bad as long as it comes with understanding, as less dependence on memory will give way to artificial intelligence, which may hamper innovation in the long run. However, looking at the current Indian context, the demand of the economy and growing global competition, both principals and educationists have the same view—there is an expectation-reality mismatch.

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Shyama Chona, Educationist and former principal of Delhi Public School, RK Puram, Delhi.

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Madhulika Sen, Principal, Tagore International School, Delhi

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Abha Sehgal, Principal, Sanskriti School, Delhi

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Anustup Nayak, Partner, idiscoveri Education Pvt Ltd

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Emaad Muzafeer, Class 9, Manav Rachna International School,Gurgaon

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Aarushi Khan, Class 9, Dev Samaj Modern School, Delhi

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Simran Agarwal, Class 8, Tagore International School, Delhi

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Overall Findings Student Outcomes

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English Class 4

Performance in common questions

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Performance of students and schools in different cities

Composite performance index of cities

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Rote learning

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The gender story

True to perception, QES found that girls are still not oriented towards science and mathematics at the school level. Perhaps,that could be attributed to the current trend of a majority of students in pure science and engineering being male. For example, in the Indian Institutes of Technology, more than 75% students are boys. Besides, the study, as well as independent interaction, found that students need to be sensitized to sociocultural issues and fellow students, and schools need to inculcate an interest in co-curricular activities.

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Acceptance of Diversity

A. Religious differences matter more than any other aspect

B. There are preconceived beliefs about people of different religions

C. Human values are more important than religious affiliation

D. Religion needs to be defended with violence, if necessary

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• They are taking away the jobs that rightfully belong to the people of your state.

• They are influenced by Western culture and will spoil the traditions of your state.

What is your response?

A. Openness to diversity

B. Resistance towards immigrants, a perception that their inclusion will be at the cost of people already in the state

C. Immigrants can be included, but only if they conform

D. Low tolerance to diversity, a perception that it results in communal disagreements

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Sensitivity towards physically challenged

What do you feel they will think about Maya?

A. Differently-abled people can fully participate in everyday life

B. Differently-abled people can be “burdensome"

C. Differently-abled people also lack proper mental abilities

D. Differently-abled people are always unhappy

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Parents’ concerns

Interactions with parents from several cities echoed a general concern—schools need to be less commercial and more focused on giving practicaloriented knowledge to students so that they become complete individuals. There was an honest confession, too—parents impose a lot of their wishes on students. The fragmentation of joint families and working parents are counterproductive to a child’s growth as a well-rounded individual, they explained. Parents also feel that schools need to create an atmosphere where students can play real outdoor games and not video games.

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Vijay Verma, Parent, Delhi

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Anjali Berry, Parent, Gurgaon

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Savita Singh, Parent and professor at the University of Delhi

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Rajiv Kansra, Parent, Ambala

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Co-scholastic activities

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Burden of unlearning

Science: Question from class 4 level

prashant.n@livemint.com

Graphics by Uttam Sharma, Ahmed Raza Khan/Mint

Data Source

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 organization that works for improving student learning in schools.

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