The education industry in India was estimated to be US$ 91.7 billion in FY 18 and is expected to reach US$ 101.1 billion in FY 19. The government plans to hike the percentage of education spending from 4.5% of GDP to 6%. Seven new IITs, two NITs, three central universities and more than 100 Kendra Vidyalayas were started by the government.
However, there are several on the ground challenges. Only 4.5 per cent of the population of India holds a Bachelor’s degree or above, while 32.6 per cent population remains deprived of secondary school education. As per the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), 50% of the rural students in the fifth grade are unable to read text meant for junior classes.
Fierce competition, tremendous stress, irrational expectations and rigid curriculums are plaguing Indian students.
It is essential for learning to be participative. Classroom studies must be both challenging and rewarding. Some innovations that can be incorporated to improve the educational system include:
Lectures should be more interactive
Students must feel comfortable while asking questions. There is no point in sitting in a classroom unless all your doubts are clarified. Teachers must make their lectures more interactive by involving as much student participation as possible. This allows students to be at ease while learning. It will also help teachers to look at things from the student’s point of view, aiding him/her in helping every student in achieving their full potential.
Learning tools makes education interactive, engaging and entertaining. It helps in better retention of information. A digital learning program will allow a student to learn at his/her own pace, to watch a specific video repeatedly till the concept is crystal clear and motivate them to do better. Digital classrooms also provide flexibility and allow students to learn from home. Students have access to loads of knowledge on their fingertips. Also, e-books are better than traditional textbooks since they are user-friendly and never go out of stock.
Every student is different. Every mind, every child is different. They learn at a different pace and retain information differently. Having a standard textbook and a common test for millions of students is pointless. A personalised learning program will allow the teachers to understand the needs of their students better. It will also work on the weaknesses or difficulties that each student faces.
There is no point in learning something if you don’t know how to apply it in the real world.
Hands-on learning will enable students to understand the practical application of learning, and why it is necessary. It also enlightens them on how to utilise what they have learned, and provides them with the necessary skills and experience required to apply their knowledge. It increases the rate of retention and makes learning more fun. In short, it makes the student future-ready and creates better professionals.
Students should be provided with more options, counselling, guidance and authority to enable them to decide their choice of subjects. A large section of the student population admits to taking up courses under parental pressure. This leads to an unprofessional workforce since employees seem to dislike what they are doing. Students must have a significant say in what they study, how they study, and whom they study with. This will create a more positive environment and encourage more students to enrol with academies and courses of their choice.
Learning is should be joyous. Students should be intrigued about learning something new. There should be a favorable environment created for students that motivates them to learn at their own pace. There should not be put under pressure by parents or be compared to their peers. Sufficient reforms, alongside technology, can play a critical role in transforming the education space in India, especially for those who do not come from privileged backgrounds. However, most importantly, a change in mindset among all stakeholders is important to bring in progress within the education sector.
BY: Karishmma V Mangal – Director and Trustee Thakur International School Cambridge