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Approach to college education needs relook: Scientist A S Kiran Kumar

Hyderabad: Eminent scientist A S Kiran Kumar suggested a relook at the education system beyond school level, and laying emphasis on process of learning rather than content to prepare students to deal with rapid changes.

The former chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation said upto the school level, its fine to have certain common and fundamental things, like its being currently done. "One of the things that's happening (beyond school level) ...trying to make it common, everybody has to go through same kind of thing. Probably, what may be needed is some mechanism where different category of people with different aptitude and skill get into different modes", he said.

"Beyond schooling, probably the whole mechanism needs to be changed", Kiran Kumar told PTI on Friday. He said as the world is changing at such a rapid pace, the task of getting students acquire skills needed not only for their survival but also for their progress, has become tough and there are no easy solutions.

Society needs to respect teachers, said Kiran Kumar, who was conferred France's highest civilian award -- Chevalier of Order of the Legion Honour -- for his contribution to India-France space cooperation last week. "One of the things that has happened over a period of time is: our respect for teachers in the society has gone down. That also reduces actually capable people taking up (teaching) positions and continuing", Kiran Kumar regretted.

He also said that along with improving teaching quality, maximum emphasis should be at the primary school level because that is the real moulding period of kids and education foundation is laid.

It is at this stage that value systems are imparted to students preparing them for future life, according to him.

Beyond school level, students can develop their capabilities to a great extent and "come up" if there are resources and good facilities.

Kiran Kumar said because of globalisation, demands of the job market are changing continuously and keeping pace with it is a difficult task. In the process of education, he stressed, one needs to actually emphasis on the process of learning rather than content of learning.

"If we are able to teach students how to learn things and then if that's done, then if we provide facilities and infrastructure, they should be able to learn what is required for the tasks", Kiran Kumar said.

Beyond school level, students should be taught to make them capable to deal with changes and the process of acquiring skills.

"We need to train our students during the course of their education system to understand that things are not going to be static; things are going to change all the time.

You cannot train them for one particular activity alone, they should be actually capable of dealing with those changes and that capability is what we have to make them learn during education", he added.

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