Transformations in Schooling Systems
Many great intellectuals and educationists have often said that school-level education in India is the best. However, it has also been told that the Indian education system, thought of good quality, is quite antiquated. Irrespective of the changes in the job market and growth in technology, students learn the same things that were taught about ten years ago. To bridge and lower the gap between the learning and the real-world problems that students have to face, several reforms have been introduced into the school education system in recent times.
This new teaching system focuses on building competence and stimulates critical thinking and problem-solving abilities among the students. These would help students better once they graduate from school and are ready to face the real world. For several years, schools had followed the traditional system of using the blackboard, drawing diagrams on them and explaining them to students. However, over the past few years, this method has been changing steadily as more schools and teachers take to the audio-visual mode of teaching, using slides and presentations to understand the concepts better. Not only does this help students get a better grasp of concepts, but the short videos help them remember the concepts for a longer time. Digitization and access to a cheap and readily available internet connection and support from the government ministries of education and several NGOs (Non-Government Organizations) and philanthropists have helped a lot to implement these changes.
Several international board (IG) schools have been founded in different parts of the country. These schools have access to smart technology and digital learning tools and help Indian classrooms adopt an integrated, experience-oriented teaching technique. In addition to these changes in the traditional trends, there have been other changes to help prepare the newer generation better. The various modifications that have taken place recently in the schooling system can be outlined as follows:
Tech-Enabled Applied Learning: Technology has advanced a lot in learning aids, tools, and assisted learning programs, and these have a significant change in teaching methods. Curriculum-based on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) has been integrated into the regular syllabus, encouraging students to think critically, innovate, and work independently to solve real-time problems. Other methods using artificial intelligence and machine learning, supported by digital aids promote analytical thinking and creative problem solving among students, making them competitive with experience of practical skills that are useful in the real world.
Collaborative classrooms led by students: In traditional methods, schools were places where teachers taught, and students learned. However, there has been a change in this setup, with students leading their little discussion groups. This setup encourages students to ask questions, discuss among themselves, and brainstorm sessions with each other. It motivates them to ask questions, clear their doubts, and share their ideas, instead of just taking in information, like a sponge. This is like a representation of a small work environment, and it builds strong communication skills as they work in groups and communicate, collaborate, and work for hand in hand.
Concerned guardians: Over the past few decades, people have become more enlightened, and there have been several changes in the social fabric of India. Parents now believe inequality, the number of nuclear families has increased, and an increased emphasis on education for both boys and girls. Parents share their responsibilities equally, and equal parenting is the new norm. They focus their attention on the child and to his/her development. Children are expected to succeed academically, and parents try to stay involved in and concerned about their child’s development. Parents try to be actively engaged with schools. The parent-school relations have developed into daily or weekly web or app-based reports, and sometimes even individual or group discussion sessions regarding the student’s progress from the traditional Parent-Teacher Meetings and annual declaration of report cards.
Teachers learning continuously: To provide quality education to the students, proper care and attention has to be paid towards the educators or teachers too. The teachers need to know new and better methods of teaching and engaging students in a class. Educators understand the need to continue remaining relevant & upgrading and updating their own knowledge as well as teaching skills, in tandem with the new norms of technology-assisted learning. Irrespective of the subjects they teach, they have to undergo specialized training in STEM and Robotics to curate customized curriculum or designing innovative classroom activities, methodical learning programs, and even integrated teaching techniques.
The new National Education Policy 2020 (NEP) promotes these new understanding-based teaching methods rather than traditional methods. This is one of the most strategic reforms in the educational policies released. This is proof of the supportive government initiatives that will make significant changes in schools’ teaching and learning formats, even in India’s most remote parts. These new methods focus on building competence, stimulate critical thinking and problem-solving abilities among students. These methods have been designed to provide a holistic education for the overall development of young minds, who grow up knowledgeable and intelligent, and creative.