Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Demand to Shift the Paradigm in Education System

Schools, colleges and higher centers of learning are synonyms of the industries to produce individuals with positive traits, - positive interdependent and worth to contribute to the economy of not only of her/his country but the globe.   

Schools especially elementary level and the universities play the most substantial role in educating the students. These two are the two exterior ends in education system. Elementary education catering to the educational needs of quite a big population of the students. Unaware of all enrolled children will continue perusing education or not, elementary teachers lay down the foundation of Reading, Writing and Arithmetic; They encourage the tiny-tots to open their eyes wide to observe and identify things and phenomenon happening around them; They are suppose to identify the potential of the individuals and sow the seeds to be an artist, scientist, poet, philosopher and so on.

On the other end, universities provide conducive learning environment to elite group of students having potentials to be the innovators, research scholars, professionals and the brains that contribute towards the development of ecology, economy and benevolence across the globe. We are bound to produce the global citizens to be fitted in the megatrend of the world   to communicate and work well with others within the full range of social situations involving fluid social structure, human diversity and interdependence. Mentors are to sensitize the students towards the global issues and to find the ways to make this earth a better place to live in.

 Unfortunately, today, schools, educational institutes and we knowledge workers unknowingly contribute heavily to socialize our future generation towards a less caring and a more competitive social orientation. Apparently, the youth is easily carried out towards the strikes, bands, destruction, negative race relations, intolerance etc. whereas the youth should be engaged in activities to innovate, explore and experiment the means and resources to take the nation towards the growth and development. Rather we find most of them unsatisfied with the system. Some of them are a social character ill-equipped to meet the demands of an increasingly interdependent social and economic world. This is a severe crisis in education.

To combat the situation, there is a demand to shift the paradigm from our conventional educational practices radically. The mindset of the teachers is barricading the new pedagogical approaches. They are not ready to come out of the competitive and individualistic learning structure as the classroom practices. Today, time is changing very fast. Teachers have to incorporate the strategies which foster the students’ experience.  They have to create such a learning  situation in which it is adaptive to help each other rather than hindering or heading to competitive socialization.  

Though, we talk a lot about the latest pedagogy, methodology or innovative practices on common forums like seminars, workshops or training programs but the irony is, most of the teaching faculties are not able to come out of the traditional competitive class room practices.                
Our mind set is hindering to switch over the paradigm from:

o   Traditional Teaching to Collaborative and Cooperative Learning
o   Traditional Teaching to Problem Based Learning
o   Traditional Teaching to Projects Based Learning
o   Traditional teaching to technology based learning
o   Traditional Teaching to Garden Based Learning
o   Or Traditional teaching to any innovative practices of teaching and learning which provides the students autonomy engaging in learning activities by self. 

We are not ready to play our roles as facilitators or mentors but to remain teachers forever. For instance, technology has brought drastic changes in the world and touched our life immensely. It has influence the literacy and pedagogy. Illiterate folks are even use technology efficiently.  But… are the teaching faculties ready to come out of the shell of conventional teaching? Though, technology is made available investing heavily in the classrooms of some of the prestigious institutes,  the optimum use of it is not ensured. Sometimes it is found that these are not installed properly or well equipped classrooms, due to one or the other reasons do not  operated them regularly. Hence, it is evident that students are not being benefitted optimum out of technological infra-structure which is their cup of tea. Introspection reveals that the story of many institutions alike.
 To achieve the desired success, all educational entities should be adaptive for the teaching and learning as per the needs and demand of present generation. Still the traditional classroom practices unanimously reflect  -

o   Teacher dominated structure
o   Passive obedience among pupils
o   Exclusive use of autocratic
o   Models autocratic decision making
o   Unprepared for the democratic society
o   Socialization void
o   No opportunity of interaction among students
o   Produces students unprepared for the real world

After being graduated, a student finds it very difficult to fit into the real world. By and large, the knowledge gained in colleges and universities are not useful to implement in the jobs or employment in reality. Field works demand a different type of approach and skill which is not developed and sharpened by the mentors during student life.

Therefore, there is a need for restructure of the classrooms activities. Cooperative and collaborative learning incorporating the technology aided classroom structure may serve the demands of todays learners from the very beginning of the educational life. The school teachers should incorporate activity based group work to engaging children learn concepts, finding the facts by themselves.  Children are not a clean slate as thought in previous days. They are getting exposure form the very early age of life through media, televisions, films, travelling and tours with their parents. They are very confident in taking decisions and full of potentials of leadership.
Only one ignition is required - the teachers’ inspiration. It opens the avenues of real learning   ensuring the reflection of the learning in real life.
If they are really not wasting the water and energy at home, the teaching of the Energy Conservation lesson is successful; If they are not contributing to the pollution by throwing garbage in the open, learning pollution lesson is efficacious; If they are coming to school and doing all their assignments in time, the discipline lesson has meaning. It is very simple that the knowledge gained from the books should be evident in day to day life and behavior of the students.

The innovative means of energy conservation, sustainable development to environment protection, remedies for global warming, determination to protect young women, dedication to remove poverty from the earth, initiation to combat ignorance and spread education, adoption of indigenous way should be the ultimate focus of the Universities’ Scholars. Only completing the syllabus and conducting the exams and tests should go to back foot. GROW – Gaining knowledge, reaching out to different people, opening the world of experience and implementing the knowledge to gain Wisdom should be the fore front.

Therefore, let’s all we knowledge workers from schools to universities come together to switch over the new pedagogical practices providing students opportunities to critical thinking, creativity, developing with cross cultural understanding, sheer ability in communication and being self-reliance. Our Education must prepare them for suitable jobs and help them to be productive citizens of the humanity.

Let us all be accountable!!!

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