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Strengthen the school labs for better future

Strengthen the school labs for better future
Highlights

Since we live in an age of innovation, a practical education must prepare a man for work that does not yet exist and cannot yet be clearly defined ...

"Since we live in an age of innovation, a practical education must prepare a man for work that does not yet exist and cannot yet be clearly defined". – This remark of Peter Drucker laid its emphasis on practical education. We are well aware of that education is an important constituent that will make an individual's personality and makes him live in a better way.

Nowadays education has been considered as the kingly way to the bright future and the base for the survival. We have been studying and observing the leftover pieces of evidences of the past cultures and civilizations belong to the Stone Age and metal age. It is noticeable in those ages the creativity of man has played a vital role and supported him greatly. Further, necessity provoked them to try out and invent something that is beneficial for their survival. That is history.

In this contemporary age in a well-civilized society there is a dearth of creativity and more dependence on readymade things. The existing education system of our country is only imparting the conceptual knowledge and cramming the information into the minds of students. The student is taught the lesson by books but not from life. Literally, he is acquiring knowledge but not wisdom. This will make the students learn more abstract things than concrete. So, there is a pressing need to strengthen labs in our country at least from upper primary level. Practical education is more beneficial to the student because of…

1. It won't promote rote learning
2. Retention of Knowledge in mind
3. Promotes better comprehension
4. Supports learning by doing
5. Improves skills
6. Promotes the application of knowledge in real life situations
7. Sustains interest
8. Aids for easy learning
9. Promotes collaborative work
10. Encourage fruitful learning with interactive learning

It is well-known fact that when we learn only concepts without any /hands-on experience it is called theoretical education. But when we use more senses such as sight, touch while learning that can be termed as a practical education. In this type of education system student will be exposed to various purposeful experiences and he will draw his own conclusions in the process of knowledge construction.
It is noticeable along with the theoretical education it provides an effective learning. Further, it will promote rational thinking and save the younger generations from the grip of mystic beliefs. The practical education will make an individual gain a sound knowledge and makes him explore new things. Of late a survey has been carried by in our country through Unified District Information System on Education (UDISE) and data analysed by National University for Education and planning (NUEPA) revealed shocking truth 75 percent schools lack decent science labs in our country.

Among this 58 percent of schools don't have lab s for 9th and 10th classes for which integrated science module has been taught. In Andhra Pradesh, only 13% of schools are having fully equipped labs and we were far behind than the other southern states Kerala (34%) and Tamil Nadu (38%). This pathetic state of school labs making the teaching-learning process is more monotonous. The scientist and former UGC chairman, a well-known science communicator and instrumental in setting up India Space programme has expressed his displeasure and opined like this "Everybody knows the importance of labs in Science teaching. Bur learning science has been reduced to mugging up things.

Policymakers should step in immediately to rectify this situation." This is the weakest link in our country's science education policy and it is pruning the creativity of the young minds because they don't have enough labs even for their simple researches. Though the teaching tribe has acclimatized for promoting the low-cost teaching aids to improve the classroom experience, yet they need more.
It is good to pay heed that the Niti Ayog under the umbrella of Atal Innovation Mission it has been setting up Atal Tinkering Labs in schools with an estimation of over 10 lakhs. But these labs are not concerned with academic concepts but aimed at only to cultivate one million neoteric innovators in India. The Niti Ayog should have to think to support the basic sciences labs under Atal Innovation Mission that will satisfy the thirst of practical knowledge.

We are all aware of that our country miserably failed to supply single world-class scientist because schools have failed to promote interest in science research. The universities are also facing the dearth of genuine research projects for various reasons. It is very apt to recollect the remark of Annie Basant about our educational system" Filling students head with a lot of disjointed facts poured into the heads as into basket; to be emptied out again in the examination hall and empty basket carried out again into the world".

This is the prime reason for the success of a student in academics but a miserable failure in the examination of life. So to make the student winner in life also we need to bring a radical change in the schools by strengthening of labs. The practical education makes the student gain practical knowledge, self-reading, observational attitude, information gathering, work experience, productive skills. All these components bring a complete and harmonious development of human personality. It is so correct the remark of Elizabeth Warren “A good education is a foundation for a better future".

BY E Gajendra Nath Reddy

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