How progressive education can change the course for the coming generations

How progressive education can change the course for the coming generations
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How progressive education can change the course for the coming generations

Highlights

Two years ago, the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted not just the Indian but also the global education systems.

Two years ago, the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted not just the Indian but also the global education systems. This chaos wreaked the most havoc on vulnerable economically backwards students exacerbating an already-existing education problem and deepened inequities.

In India, especially with regards to rural education, necessitates the decentralised system that grants inclusive autonomy to local governments and fosters local engagement. Thus, a systems approach is the way forward, including curriculum design, teacher recruiting, resources, and systems to detect potential difficulties.

Learning should be holistic, integrated, engaging and fun. The Indian Government has launched skill development missions to motivate the country's youth. For example, the National Skill Development Mission has collaborated with several training providers are promoting women-centric training in digital and financial literacy, website design, entrepreneurship, 2D and 3D design, hardware repair and farm management. Furthermore, through initiatives such as the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (now the Samagra Shiksha) and the Right to Education Act, India is making remarkable strides in recent years in reaching near-universal enrolment in elementary education.

Additionally, restructuring the school's curriculum and pedagogy will encourage experiential learning within each subject. The aim of education will be on cognitive development and moulding students' character to create holistic and well-rounded individuals equipped and up-skilled to flourish in the 21st century. The current educational policy focuses on reducing curriculum content to enhance vital learning and critical thinking. Art and sports integration are two other approaches that will strengthen the linkages between education and culture and help students develop collaboration, responsibility, self-direction, self-initiative, teamwork, citizenship, and self-discipline skills.

Experiences that promote collaboration, communication, and teamwork for all students frequently occur outside the classroom. Schools in India must now encourage these encounters in context and our classrooms. The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 shared a few radical changes in the country's education system, including evolving a child-centric pedagogy to promote analytical thinking among children rather than a rigid curriculum and assessment process. These changes implied every child must have access to quality education.

Teachers must also encourage open discussions over unilateral instructions with a child-centric pedagogy to promote their analytical thinking rather than following a rigid curriculum and assessment process. Additionally, designing a modern, progressive and equitable education system is crucial.

Adapting progressive education methodologies is the way forward for India. Cohesion, collaboration, and a co-creation approach in teaching are imperative to enhance future education for children. This approach will allow small and large student groups to collaborate on learning initiatives.

As classrooms will continue to cohabit as both physical and virtual environments, flipping the present learning model on its head so that students can learn at home and spend class time interacting and applying their knowledge to real-world challenges.

Personalisation for a learner-centred approach is another crucial element in how progressive education can change the coming generations.

India must remodel their views about how teaching is delivered. To address concerns voiced by private studies conducted during the pandemic period, the Government has taken steps to reduce the negative impact of the epidemic on the school system. Currently, 91.9 per cent of all enrolled children have textbooks for their current grade. Furthermore, to overcome the challenge of the digital divide and continue learning during the pandemic.

The Government implemented textbook distribution at home, teachers' telephonic guidance, online and digital content via TV and radio, TARA interactive Chatbot, and action learning via the NCERT Alternate Academic Calendar.

There has been an increase in the education budget for the year 2022-23 to Rs 104 278 crores (budget estimates) compared to last year when the budget estimate was Rs 93 274 crores (revised to Rs 88,002 crore). The union budget has laid a lot of emphasis on digital learning since students' have suffered due to numerous school closures ever since the onset of the pandemic.

With the advent of digitalisation, knowledge has become a crucial commodity. As a result, the Indian education system's functioning, tools, and core competencies must transition from industrial to digital-age modern education. Curating educational programmes and initiatives that focus on skill development aid the students to think, apply and invent rather than merely study, helping us steam in the right direction towards progressive education.

(The author is Founder - Sangini Saheli)

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