While every operative system in the world constantly undergoes changes, it is an irony that our education system itself has remained largely unchanged over the last 200 years. As a result, it is rendering itself increasingly incongruous to the present and almost absurd when it comes to addressing the needs of the future. Read on to know the plight and vision of the young stakeholders in education: our students.
Respect is key, but with a difference
The mode of learning and acquiring knowledge needs to keep pace with the times. Students must be taught how to learn rather than what to learn, and know how to think critically.
Strength and weakness of each child needs to be respected, that may require them to study at one’s own pace and style. Future should give students more such opportunities. There is a growing trend towards online access to educational content and learning resources. There is already a wealth of available learning opportunities and a rapidly growing catalogue of available content has enabled students to learn about nearly any topic that piques their interest. With time, more innovative resources for learners can be expected. We shall soon find personalized learning to prevail as students will learn with study tools that adapt to their capabilities. This can result in positive learning experiences and will diminish the number of students losing confidence in their academic abilities. Education will continue to progress as we look forward to learning and living in a more inclusive society.
Here it needs to be realized that students may have personal issues that can interfere with their learning and that teaching mental health can be extremely valuable. In the near future, there will be a growing movement to practice mindfulness and consider the outside influences that may affect students.
Choice gains importance
Students will also have a wider choice in their learning processes. They will learn with different devices, different programs and techniques based on their own preference. Career options will increase as lesser known vocations will earn more prominence.
With choice comes authority. Students will become more involved in forming their curriculum. It is realistic to maintain a curriculum that is up-to-date and useful with the twin involvements of both professionals as well as the learners. Inputs from students on the content and duration of their courses are critical for an effective study program. This will give us a practical educational system where education effectively translates into learning and we understand better. Better understanding leads to sharpening our skills for improved applications. This process will also help teachers to build healthy relationships with students, who can thus play a more significant role of a mentor for the students.
Envisioning the assessment system
Time will reveal a change in the method of students’ assessment as well. It will require a more practical method of testing students’ learning than the traditional examinations. Students should also be shown how their knowledge can be implemented in day to day activities by solving real life problems that makes learning more fun and satisfying. As students’ capabilities are assessed at each step, measuring their competencies through the Q&A mode might become irrelevant. Today it is commonly agreed that students learn for examinations in the rote-learning method which they forget soon after, thus making it a wasteful process. While factual knowledge can be measured during their learning process, the application of their work is best tested through field work. So, the day is not too far when we should see a radical change in the examination system.
About the authors
The article has been contributed by the following students from St Joseph’s HIgh School, Matigara, Darjeeling: Archismita Sanyal, Priyadarshini Ghosh, Aadrika Dey and Sanchita Ghosh.