From Un-questioning Learners to Thinkers/ Innovators

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.

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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.

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Soft Skills-

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.

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Experiential Learning-

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.

Social Responsibility-

 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.

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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.

Life skills-

 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 .

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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.

(All the images are courtesy Internet)

7 thoughts on “From Un-questioning Learners to Thinkers/ Innovators

  1. Good points. I also think that it’s important to have dignity of labour. As a society if everyone chases an IT company dream or still looks at a lawyer/doctor/CA as the only alternatives to an engineering degree, we are doomed. Naturally there will be for-profit institutions springing up dime a dozen without any quality in output.

    I think the HRD ministry should have very strict norms on quality control. Also, we should pay our soldiers & teachers much more, and perhaps reduce spends on VIP security!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I totally agree that Math and Science should be hands on..too much theory and no proper understanding of functions. Hence no fun and kids lose interest in both these subjects.
    Presentation skills, survival skills, social interaction skills should be given most importance as these are the ones which help in the adult life.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am a proud citizen.
    I wish learning n teaching should be merit based.
    I wish education should be productive.
    I wish compulsory military training for one year after 10th standard.
    We should equally promote n concentrate for better farming n it’s good sale n income.lotsof land is nonproductive. In cities so many plots in societies are non productive.it can be used wisely.
    Jay hind.
    Join hands with my beloved PM shri Modiji.
    Bharat mata ki jay.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Basic Financial Skills is a big gap. It shd be covered in schools, which can teach it through experiential methods. Kids shd open an account, write a cheque, open a FD, etc.
    Instead of reading textbooks, kids shd be encouraged to do more self learning – through research. Biology and Geography shd be taught through more fieldwork. Kids shd OBSERVE rocks and soils and plants and trees.
    English literature shd be taught only by reading more books. If they read One book a month, written English will improve.

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  5. I completely endorse every thought here. I have two school going children and am pained to see children seeking tuitions as early as standard three!!
    What are we doing to them!?
    I have seen children study for 12 years in school and not understand a word of what they write in their exams, as they have just become mechanical and marks oriented!!!
    Students passing out schools and colleges still do not hesitate to throw waste on the roads or waste water and electricity!! Why didn’t they learn to be responsible to the society they live in!!!
    Is this the way we are shaping the future!?
    It’s high time we make changes in our education system!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. We are overwhelmed by the response from people all across India on this article. We are still open till April 5th….please do write in before we collate all your views and share it with the #UnionHRDministry! #voiceofindia #mybigleap.in

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