History has established beyond doubt that ‘Education is the most powerful weapon one can have to change the world’. Education – in its true sense will determine the future of the country. In this light, our schools and education system bear a huge responsibility in shaping India’s future. Needless to say – overall curriculum that we impart to children has to constantly evolve to make the young India future ready.
We at My Big Leap appreciate the ministry of HRD – Government of India in recognizing this need of evolving the NCERT/CBSE school curriculum and for soliciting suggestions from all stakeholders – teachers, parents, academicians and students alike to gather different perspectives and to get a holistic view for the first time ever.
India is soon to become the youngest country in the world by 2020. One needs to ponder why do we have too many graduates and too few to employ? Even within the employed, why are Indians topping charts of the number of people employed in one industry than the other? In our view, it is the current school curriculum that is responsible by being solely focused on only building cognitive, analytical abilities of students. We hence make the below set of suggestions to the ministry of HRD to enable all-round development of children across regions and socio-economic strata.
Communication skills: The lack of ability of an individual to deliver his or her views leads to the rejection of a brightest of the minds in an interview. One cannot emphasize enough the role of good oral and written communication skills can have to a successful professional life. Language and communication skills are developed over a period and the first step would be to cultivate reading habit right from a young age. Every school should have a library and in far-off areas, government can work through having community library affiliations to have access to books and other good reading material. Additionally, establishing literary clubs, encouraging and class room discussions on current affairs will help them develop a point of view and provide ample opportunities to communicate and express their ideas. Written essays, debates and elocution should be made part of the teaching curriculum and should be mandatory for all.
Team work: To be a good team player, acceptance of different points of view and decision making through consensus is undisputedly the most important skill the work environment demands today. Group activities and projects right from an early age will groom them to develop these essential skills.
Isn’t it high time to elevate our students from being ‘un-questioning’ learners to being thinkers and innovators? We believe hands on activities and experiential learning will develop love for learning in young children and research proves that subjects such as science and mathematics are best taught this way. A variety of hands on activities should be included and learning should shift to have application orientation from being theoretical and rote-based. Lab work should be introduced as early as primary school and text books should list simple activities that encourage children to find applications to learnt concepts in the world around them.
Moral, values and work ethics-
One cannot emphasize enough the importance of a good teacher and the lasting impact they can have in development of a student’s overall personality. Teachers can adopt audio visual aids to teach morals, to instill right ethics, and groom the children to have high morals and good values, all of which can be effectively taught through stories from our rich mythology and heritage. Students must be supported and encouraged to practice what is preached and we believe that this will be strong foundation for a harmonious and progressive India.
Children must be encouraged to actively take part in social initiatives such as ‘Swach Bharat’ to inculcate a sense of belonging, responsibility and pride for one’s country. Similarly, there can be a buddy system introduced at school level wherein, we encourage the culture of senior grade children helping the juniors in academics encourage camaraderie and brotherhood.
Sports and Physical Activity-
Physical education has a great role to play in the personality development of children through sport activities. It not only has innumerable health benefits but it is also an effective tool in grooming their social behavior, reduce stress and will go a long way in building their self-confidence and self-esteem. Needless to say, basic self-defense skills should be made mandatory for all.
There are a gamut of life skills that can be taught during different stages of schooling that can prove to be assets to children in the long run – most essential of them being ‘good decision making’. Life skills range from concrete skills like money management, medical first aid to skills as basic as cooking, public and personal hygiene to skills that are completely overlooked and under rated such as typing using a keyboard that can positively improve one’s efficiency at work place .
All the suggestions we have listed are infact measurable and quantifiable. Integrating the score on academic performance with the performance on the described skills based education is imperative to the success of the implementation of these suggestions. Under graduate schools should make the integrated score as the primary criterion for admissions. We at My Big Leap believe that holistic education will groom children to have a well-rounded personality and Career guidance and Counselling will give the right impetus to make informed career decisions and help them lead successful & fulfilling professional careers.