Creating Pathways to New-Age Education

Roopal Sagi

Founder & Principal, The Learning Umbrella Preschool & Day Care, Telangana

There’s a Chinese proverb that says, ‘Teachers open the door, but you must enter by yourself. So apt, so rightly put, and it is exactly what the Indian education system needs to instil in the young bright minds and encouraging them to operate independently. The major difference between Indian curriculums and International curriculums lies in the weightage given to rote learning and relatively lesser emphasis on application-based learning. Education in true sense should be about genuine understanding, building the ability to be self-sufficient, self-reliant and in being able to figure things out on your own.

Though we are advancing, the basis of assessing a child’s understanding of a particular subject is still very subjective. Children are assessed on the basis of writing down already-fixed answers to questions, leaving no room for creativity or intuitiveness. Traditional learning relying upon pedagogy that is based upon imparting knowledge within the boundaries of a classroom, where the teacher or professor explains and elaborates upon the key concepts pertaining to the subject at hand is still prevailing in most of the schools. Text books and theory is considered sacrosanct with ignorance towards experiencing the event. Infact, we learn quicker and better from the experiences we live than the theories we read. We need to enhance the logical and reasoning faculties in kids, by giving them more room for experiential learning.

In an ideal scenario, although the broader curriculum remains the same everywhere, schools can derive their own curriculums where the methodology varies. This gives the teachers the flexibility and space for experimenting, designing student-customised learning and getting kids ready for the real world. Another problem that comes to the fore, is that of limited number of subjects offered to students. If compared to schools abroad, Indian schools offer limited options for kids to choose from, depending on their talents and inclinations. Students should be offered a mix of subjects important to learn and options online to choose subjects of their interest. A complex, yet proportionate, stir of the online and offline learning models can make way for a hybrid model, which inculcates the traditional values of education along with the digital means of delivery.

Even if we look at learning history in Indian schools, we teach only Indian history, and merely touch upon World history. It is very essential for children to know all that happened before them to be able to know what shall happen in the years to come. This dearth of general knowledge and awareness about the world around them might hold them back from learning empathy and inclusiveness, which remain to be truly virtuous qualities.

Very few schools in India lay importance of having a value-based education system for their students. Real education should educate us into looking outside, becoming more selfless and giving and imbibing the right values from our families and cultures. It is largely observed that the character building of a child happens in the formative years. For instance, a good example of teaching self-reliance is exhibited by Japanese schools which teach its students that no work is menial, right from sweeping, to serving to cleaning, every single job is important. Some Japanese schools are said to have a day for every batch of students to stay back after class to clean their own classrooms. This needs to be propagated and taught in Indian schools too.

International curriculums also have a mandatory subject called global perspectives, which help students understand the world around them better. It is similar to the Social Science subjects taught in India, but with a little more importance given to global understanding. This approach, enables students to become worldly individuals capable of residing, living and thriving anywhere around the globe.

Lastly, it is our responsibility to create a future that belongs to the curious ones.

Observe, Learn, Create & Observe again!!

Roopal Sagi

Founder & Principal, The Learning Umbrella Preschool & Day Care, Telangana