A New Educational Dimension for Future-Readiness

Anurag Tripathi

IRPS Secretary, Central Board of Secondary Education

The Draft National Education Policy envisions an education system that contributes directly to transforming our nation into an equitable, all Inclusive community, right from the early childhood. It also focuses on building a nurturing education environment to empower each child to be ready for the future and stand strong in the face of global challenges. India aspires to be the third largest economy by 2030 . This is the same time period during which this Policy will bring about the biggest transformation. Our economy will be driven by knowledge resources. To do this, we will need an education system, which would have the attributes required for the challenges of the outside dynamic world.

Learners of today need to be empowered to be values-oriented citizens equipped with competencies and skills to face the real-life challenges and be successful. Studies in India and abroad have also given similar conclusions.

Let us take a look at the following, which is a report from Conference Board P21 et al.

The image below explains what shall be the global skill requirement in the 21st century :

In Indian context, the India Skills Report 2019, by All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and Association of Indian Universities presents the following finding on the skill requirement:

1 Communication Skills
2 Adaptability
3 Learning Agility

(https://www.aicte-india.org/sites/default/files/India%20Skill%20Report-2019.pdf page 35)

https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED519465.pdf page 9

In this backdrop, what we require to be future-ready is a focus on acquiring the 21st century skills. These skills are as follows:

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving ICT Literacy Flexibility and Adaptability
Creativity and Innovation Information Literacy Initiative and Self-Direction
Communication Media Literacy Social and Cross- Cultural Interaction
Collaboration Media Literacy Productivity and Accountability
Leadership and Responsibility

The National Curriculum Framework 2005 also recommends providing opportunities to learners to question, enquire, debate, reflect, and arrive at concepts or create new ideas. It further maintains that an element of challenge is critical for the process of active engagement and learning various concepts, skills and positions through the process. ( NCF, 2005, p.no.18). This all would certainly help in inculcating the 21st century skills among our students.

All the above requirements necesitate our educators to remain updated with the changing world and adopt such practices which can develop these skills to make our students future-ready. Task is huge, and the preparation to accomplish this task is already on.

Central Board of Secondary Education has taken the steady and trend-setting measures to promote real-life skills among learners. Introducing Arts integrated pedagogy, mandating one period per day for Health and Physical Education, thrust on Experiential and Active Learning pedagogy are a few such steps. Even teacher capacity building programmes have been extensively taken up. Hubs of Learning ( a group of 5-6 CBSE schools) have also been envisioned and created by the board to be transformational towards this goal.

Another step in taking education to a new dimension forward, towards making students future-ready, will be having Competency-based learning in our classrooms. A Competency means demonstrating knowledge, skills and attitudes/ability needed to do something successfully or efficiently on repeated occassions, naturally, without thinking consciously. Competency based learning model focuses on the demonstration and application of learning, rather than on temporal aspect of taking a course. This actually means unbinding learning with the 35-40 minutes in a class . Learning takes place on its own pace and a student is able to follow his/her own pace.

Thus, this form of learning enables students to demonstrate their learning. Students are able to participate in conversations about their own learning, and decide how and when to demonstrate what they have learned. Further, students are able to spend more time working in those areas that are more difficult for them. This model of learning also allows the teacher to strategise and plan interventions where students need maximum help while also ensuring they learn what is required by them to advance to the next level of learning

This will be a win-win situation for all: students, teachers and overall education scenario. Let us work in this direction collectively for enabling our students to be ready for the future.

Anurag Tripathi

IRPS Secretary, Central Board of Secondary Education