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Going back to roots

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Source: DH

The world and its sister know that education, especially from the age of six to 16, is crucial for every individual, for the society and for the nation. In the last two decades, the education system has undergone a sea change in many parts of the world. The pen and paper of the present generation is technology — every classroom, every teacher, and every student needs it. The old order may gasp at technological innovations, but we would do well to remember, that, for the young and the younger, these are blasé. It is their norm. So what is new in the education line across the world?

Be the change you want to see
Innovation is a word that gets tossed around quite a bit to describe a different approach in pedagogy practice, evaluation technique or policy change. As Albert Einstein pointed out correctly, “The world we have created is a product of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” Given that growth and change are inevitable, learning and innovation have to go hand in hand. Countries across the world have put together curriculum and practice, best suited to their requirements.

A comparative study, titled ‘Innovative Practices in Teaching and Learning’, of different regions of the world has brought to light that the key areas of change have been in curriculum content, innovative pedagogic techniques, assessment and evaluation practices, and they drive to encourage schooling and implement change (especially in Third World countries). 

Why innovation?
The wisdom of the traditional and standard system of teaching and learning, while being sound in principle, lacked dynamism and flexibility, which was needed to cope with the ‘www’ culture. This change had to be effected where it mattered most — in schools and colleges. The arrogance of success is in thinking that what you did yesterday holds good for tomorrow. It does not. Therefore, the revamping of existing patterns and the reinventing of implementing change!

Early intervention
Early childhood education in Finland emphasises respect for each child’s individuality and allows each child to develop as a unique person. Finnish early educators have come up with a unique way to foster a culture of reading, wherein parents of newborn babies are given three books — one for each parent, and a baby book for the child — as part of the maternity package. Formal schooling begins at the age of six. Outdoor activities are stressed, even in the coldest weather; and homework is kept to the minimum to leave room for extracurricular activities.

Finland authorities insist on 10 years of compulsory schooling for every child, from every economic bracket. Parents are paid to participate in this drive and can run homeschooling programmes for their own and other children. The emphasis is on education, not the institution. 

Innovation in curriculum
In Finland, the entire education system is monitored by Municipal officials. Schools up to the university level are funded and administered by the local government. 

The transversal competences in the schools’ core were in the thinking and learning process, cultural competence and self-expression, self-care and basic life skill competence, information and communication technology competence and smart world entrepreneurial skills to help build a sustainable society.

The education thrust in Singapore is research intensive, and their innovation and enterprise programme based on the slogan ‘Thinking Schools, Learning Nation’ has taken off beautifully with phenomenal attitude change right from the primary level through secondary and university levels. The new approach allows for intellectual curiosity and a willingness to think originally and nurture individual ability and strengths. This learning atmosphere encompasses students, teachers, parents, workforce, companies, community organisations and the government. The whole nation learns and moves forward.

Rethinking pedagogy
Schools in England and elsewhere in English colonies felt the need to address not just curriculum content but the teaching methodology as well. Curriculum planners had a free hand to be creative in their approach to a subject. Thus, thematic design of lessons has found favour with teachers, as against the normal practice. The themes are drawn from the subject and they include topics like the impact of rivers on the environment and socio-economic growth. This basically gives them better perspective and helps them explore, assimilate, understand and create.

Certain subjects like English and Mathematics need discrete study of the subject; however, the students have enough opportunities to apply their literacy and numeracy skills during thematic learning sessions, involving simulation and role play.

New ways of assessing
New Zealand found that what worked for their high schoolers was an open posting of achievement data to egg them on. Almost like a performance chart or a scoreboard in sports. As a result, the climb and dips are up for peer assessment too and motivate the student to perform well consistently. Even the teachers come in for external evaluation by education inspectors, experts and senior faculty at regular intervals.

Projects and assignments have replaced unit tests. The system of grades and points has replaced the traditional percentage system. Closer home, our own Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has adopted this new method to ease conversion situations during admissions to universities.

In Finland, the assessment is an ongoing process, during the entire period of learning. Also to be noted is that the assessment is based on individual student’s skill and growth or progress. Evaluation of lesson plans and periodic appraisals keep the teacher’s creative juices flowing. The teaching staff strive to perfect their role of facilitators to motivate the student and allow for self-regulated learning and total involvement.

Drive to encourage schooling
Large pockets of our world are economically underdeveloped and the existing education system faces completely different challenges. The curriculum and teaching are not their primary concern. It is healthcare. In many parts of the African continent, the Education Department works with health officers and non-profit organisations to supply medicines to students in the school for deworming or to fight the malaria parasite, by providing insecticide-treated low-cost bed nets. The multi-pronged health drives to implement and promote education have been very successful, with attendance in schools going up by more than 55%.

A full circle
Our very own glorious Takshashila and Nalanda traditions and the ancient gurukula systems have been praised for all the right reasons. They have regained world recognition and high praise in recent times from scholars in foreign countries, who are clamouring to study Sanskrit — one of the oldest languages in use — to better understand the genesis of oriental philosophy, history, languages, sciences and culture, and discover some of the earliest thoughts and discoveries. In truth, India can give a few lessons to the world in developing genius and nurturing body, mind and soul, the essence of holistic education

References

Rama Natarajan, Jun 29 2017,
posted Jun 29, 2017 by anonymous

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Photo Source: The Financial Express

By- Mahesh Tejwani

http://www.financialexpress.com/education-2/how-artificial-intelligence-and-internet-of-things-will-impact-education-in-future/1094733/

The recent revolution in digital technology has touched every sphere and facet of lives, and education sector has not been spared. Unlike any other sector, the link between digital technology and education is unique and complimentary. On one hand, digital technology has become the enabler by redefining the very basics of the sector and altering the rules of the game. On the other hand, today’s young minds will decide the future direction of digital technology as they are going to be the innovators of tomorrow. So, equipping our students is key to success in the field. Currently, more than 40 crore Indians use the internet and this number will get doubled in the next four years. The government has embarked on a mission to connect 2.5 lakh villages through the fibre superhighway. The government is aiming to train crores of Indians in different skills by 2022. It means that digital technology is all set embrace every moment of our lives. We are already a digital society and are moving towards the knowledge society. Hence, the task is cut out for students, teachers and managements. It’s time for learning, relearning and unlearning. Over the years, technology has outdated our conventional theories and practices in education. Blackboards, chalks, textbooks and ink pens are fast turning into the things of the past. Traditional classrooms are giving way to smart classrooms. Students are smart enough to swim with the current trends and they are constantly on the learning curve. This learning will surely continue.

But, for teachers, it’s time for relearning, whether it is pedagogical tools, content or dissemination. They need to update themselves to catch up with students. For the management or school authorities, the task is first unlearning, before learning. The old management theories and best practices are getting outdated with every passing day, because even the traditional infrastructure is slowly becoming obsolete in this virtual world. Going forward, many foreseen and unforeseen technology innovations will disrupt the education sector. One of the most powerful disruptions will be the rising inclination towards m-learning from e-learning practices. Mobile technology is making education affordable, convenient and more effective. Mobile apps are turning learning a pleasure ride, like negotiating through the twists and turns of an online game. We already see the market being flooded with multiple apps for different categories of studies. Technology is a great leveller, and more so in education. Another big trend to watch out is how fast this will redefine the educational landscape. Digital technology is making place, people and time irrelevant for learning. As we are moving into a global classroom, rural and urban divide will fade away. With schools interconnected digitally, expertise will matter first. Through telemedicine facilities, tertiary care is now being made available at primary healthcare centres. Similarly, expertise by specialists in big towns now quickly reach grass-roots levels. Talent, whether in small towns or metros, is able to get support at an equal scale. Even the time constraints in learning will be removed soon and synchronisation—boundless and timeless education—will happen. Another aspect is that parents will also be enrolled into this digital highway and their contribution will be integral for the success of the pupils.

But the two biggest trends to impact education in the near future will be artificial intelligence and Internet of Things—they are already charting the very course of information technology. Virtual reality and augmented reality videos and simulations will make education content more interactive and interesting. Cloud technology is going to make life easier both for students and teachers as documents and files will be stored and accessed easily. This will help managements in a big way, cutting down on infrastructure costs. Similarly, Big Data will make assignments, evaluations, tests and projects more results-driven. In the same way analytics is helping fintech companies, student performance can be improved through Big Data. Teachers can make use of the data efficiently to monitor and guide students. Augmented reality and virtual reality can make learning exciting, with rich experiences and opening up endless possibilities. Highly engaging classrooms will lead to better results. These can transform the traditional methods of learning, breaking down the walls of classrooms and making students to think out-of-the box and pilot new innovations.

 

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BW Businessworld’s Future of Education Summit is a platform that endeavours to engage thought leaders, practitioners and innovators to bring forth innovative and disruptive ideas that can link our students, faculties and institutions to solutions that are best suited for them; solutions that improve lives and stories that inspire other educators to do better. http://bwevents.co.in/bweducation/future-of-education-summit/

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Aditi Gyanesh@timesgroup

Bengaluru:

Was Old Building Razed 11 Yrs Ago After Rain Damage. It's been six years since the new building for Subbaiah Reddy Higher Primary School in Jogupalya, Ulsoor, was completed but it is yet to be inaugurated. The 82 students from the school are still sharing classrooms with students of BBMP High School on Jogupalya Main Road.

http://epaperbeta.timesofindia.com/Article.aspx?eid=31806&articlexml=School-locked-since-2011-as-BBMP-fails-to-09062017003045

Eleven years ago, the old building was demolished after it was severely damaged following a downpour, and Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) hired a contractor to construct a new building for the 70-yearold school. Initially, the contractor had locked the building as his bills were due. He has now handed over the keys to BBMP but the school is unused. The initial construction cost as per the tender was Rs 46 lakh, but the final cost touched Rs 98 crore.BBMP still owes the contractor Rs 36 lakh.

C Babu, the contractor, told TOI: “I have given them the keys to the building. If they don't pay my dues, I will move the court seeking a stay. I will not allow them to use it, and the children will also be moved out.“ BBMP special commissioner (education) S G Raveendra said: “It's a small matter (of payment). We have inspected the building and will be opening it soon for children. The date is yet to be decided.“

B R Chandran, who studied at the school in the 1960s, has been fighting for its reopening. “This is the only Kannada medium school for four wards,“ Chandran said.“Work on the building was completed by 2011, but the school was not opened.“ Chandran has written to a number of BBMP officials over the years, including mayor G Padmavathi. During an inspection, Padmavathi had said the school would be opened on May 29 but it has not happened. “The building is beautiful. We just want students to get an education,“ said Chandran.

 

 

 

 

 

+1 vote
State education minister has clarified couple of days ago that rules and requirements are now being drafted to implement state education syllabus for classes up to VIII in Karnataka - amongst the ICSE and CBSE schools. In the meantime the CBSE board apparently has clarified that they do not actually prescribe a syllabus up to class VIII in any case. Full story here: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bengaluru/cbse-icse-schools-will-have-to-follow-state-syllabus-in-karnataka/articleshow/58146344.cms
+1 vote

Central Governments expenditure on education has been falling for past three years, compared to 2013-14, the last year of UPA, when education got 4.57% of the total expenditure, there has been a steady decline — 3.65% in 2016-17, according to this Budget's revised estimate, with the estimated outlay for the coming year showing a minor uptick at 3.71%.

Looking at education spend as a share of the GDP, which is what international trackers do, the trend is clear — having dipped from 0.63% of the GDP in 2013-14 to 0.47% projected by the government for 2017-18. Read more

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