The Indian education system has been subjected to a lot of scrutinies in the last few years. The pressing need, as always, has been to enhance its scope and efficiency. How do we move the schools from rote-learning to meaningful way of gaining knowledge? The answer, as per educationist and industry pioneers like Shantanu Prakash, Aditya Nataraj, and Byju’s Ravichandran, lies in the holistic relook and revamp of India’s education sector.
The concern was brought into the picture at the recently held sixth Global Education and Skills Forum (GESF) in Dubai, where educationists and industry experts emphasized the need for a shift in current policies for meeting the needs of modern learners.
“A relook at the Indian education sector is inevitable, given that the current system was developed in the pre-Independence era for just 5 per cent of the population, and that too for clerical roles, with no room for creativity or promoting social reorganisation,” said Aditya Nataraj, Founder director Kaivalya Education Foundation, a social change organisation working in the field of education.
Mr. Nataraj focused on replacing the system of “monitoring, inspection, and suspension” with the one that “enables, empowers and inspires” students.
The Global Education and Skills Forum saw diverse opinions for propagating robust changes in the country’s education segment. Shaheen Mistri, CEO of a non-profit organization, Teach for India, suggested the inclusion of ‘love’ factor, deeming it central for revolutionizing the sector.
“This includes a five-step approach of creating safe spaces for voices, promoting the spirit of partnership between educators and kids, view children as change-makers, driving regional and national dialogue on equity in education, and encouraging experiments in reimagining education,” Mistri said.
The present system of education has a number of loopholes. “It mainly focuses on incessant memorization with no meaningful learning at all,” says Shantanu Prakash, founder of the digital education firm Educomp Solutions. It makes millions of students the victims of a futile, unrealistic, and monotonous rat race. The plight is well-reflected in the words of Stephen Leacock, the well-known humorist and writer who summed up the education system.
“Parrots would pass the examination of our time better than men. It is the one who has a sharp memory that will make the highest score, though he may clear forget everything just the following morning,” he once said.
Shantanu Prakash deems creativity and innovation as the only panacea to liberate the education system from the tenets of mechanistic and obsolete learning. Fostering the concept of ‘smart learning’, his venture, Educomp Solutions garnered significant success in addressing the pain points in the current education system.