At a panel discussion in the Asian Summit on Education and Skills organized by World DIDAC, I was speaking on the theme – Developing to Developed, Quality Education for All. Let me share with you my thoughts on the topic:
Education in any country should focus on 3 key elements to ensure that it is impactful: Accessibility-Affordable-Quality. In India we are still struggling with accessibility and affordability. If we look closely at all government schemes and policies on education they are focused on making education accessible and affordableI believe that we need to focus on the following issues to ensure quality in future:
- Policy making has to be Child Centric – All policy, curricula that impacts the life of a child are made by people who have very little understanding of children. They rely on their experiences which may not necessarily be relevant to children today.
- Corruption – I am not just talking about corruption in the government space which is kind of a given, I am more worried about corruption in the private space. Private schools have some very corrupt practices. It is a factor of legislation that does not allow us to run schools for profit and the low levels of values or absolute lack of experience that people who run/manage schools possess.
- Changing Times – the world around us has changed dramatically over the past 10-15 years, clearly the curricula and education system is not playing a good job of catching up.
- Leadership – If I have to point out one key area that we need to address first to fix the quality in education, it is clearly that of leadership in education. In a country that boasts of over a million schools and thousands of teacher training institutes there is not a single good regular institute/university/college that focuses on creating educational leadership.
- Curriculum – Our boards and policy makers get a lot of satisfaction by preparing the curriculum. Finally what pecolates down to the child is the textbook/content that is provided by the publishers. There is no regulation on this front and it is not too wrong to say that the publishers decide the quality of pedagogy in Indian classrooms!
- Pre school education to date has had no regulations; there are still talks that we might have a legislation soon on this. Anyone and everyone can run any kind of a play school.
- Relevance to Life – Most of what is taught in schools has no relevance to life and what is required in life is not taught in school. Even organisations like NSDC that aim at creating a skilled nation do not recognize Life Skills as an essential skill for a skilled youth!
- Assessment and Data Analytics – Indian schools do not document data, apart from academic grades. Research, data analytics and prediction has not even occurred to schools in India.
Till such a time when all schools still think they are ‘Good’ and get enamoured by some random school rating at times even without an affiliation to a Board given by mediocre agencies who have very little understanding of education and children, Quality Education will still be a far cry in India!