Views and Reflections

The teacher is central to all educational reform – this is the underlying principle of change in educational processes. Hence, an initiative to capacitate teachers is generally an adjunct to most government initiatives in education. The word adjunct is chosen with care – while the intent is to capacitate teachers to create change, somehow the teacher becomes a supplementary rather than a key player. A case in point is the implementation of continuous and comprehensive evaluation across States.

Is it all your mother’s fault?
 
No matter what the “it” refers to, Sigmund Freud would have probably said yes to that question. However, we now know a lot more about psychology, parenting, and human relationships than Freud did.
 
 

State of Rural Schools India has the exceptional achievement of having a primary school (class I-V) within one kilometer in 98 percent of its habitations. Access to physical infrastructure is matched in official records with enrolment in excess of 96 percent. But the good progress on getting rural children to schools is, however, substantially lost with low retention and insufficient learning levels, restricting opportunities for their future lives as citizens, parents and contributing members of the economy.

Materials can be important for helping children learn. The very young child learns in interaction with and acting on the objects around her. In the beginning, the senses, motor abilities and subsequent causal analysis develops through their observations of the things around and their behaviour in different circumstances. This interaction with materials is spontaneous and directed by the child. The manner of interaction is decided by her and often their explorations do not meet with the approval of the adults.

Education is a prime concern of society. Naturally both as individuals and as a society we always think about a better education for all round growth and development of the individual and, ultimately, society. Today the term quality education has gained pace and is a matter of concern and debate among educationists and even common people. In fact education itself is qualitative in nature and outcome. The matter of discussion or concern should be the process, the contents etc.

In August 2009, the Indian parliament enacted the Right to Education (RTE) Act which enshrined education from 6 to 14 years as a ‘right’. The Act additionally mandated a variety of ‘requirements’ relating to infrastructure, Pupil Teacher Ratio (PTR), curriculum, teacher training, inclusionary education, and the focus of this article – a continuous and comprehensive student evaluation system (CCE). The objective of these mandates was ensuring a ‘quality’ education for children.

Learning through play, particularly in a child’s earliest years of life, can improve 

It doesn't make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do, We hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.  ~Steve Jobs

This adage doesn’t seem to be understood by many school managements in India. They hire good teachers, and then tie them up with so many instructions that the teachers lose their freedom, their unique style of teaching, and are eventually labelled as unsuccessful teachers. One of these instructions is about the planning of a lesson.

When we look around us, or ask the high school students about the subjects they like the least... Chances are- the answer is Social Science.  Somehow Social Science has become equivalent to a boring, uninteresting, dull subject that puts the students to sleep.

A case study from Assam

Introduction

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