Are Academics alone enough?

The world is changing at a rapid pace, becoming ultra-competitive hence, academics alone are not enough for children to achieve success. Innovative programs that provide tailored curricula and specialized learning environments will make the essence of the teaching-learning system.

The need to conceptualize ideas, imaginations, and concepts is much more than merely gaining knowledge and understanding.

Today’s requirements beyond academics are: –

  • Gaining Skills
  • Life Skills
  • Sensitivity toward the environment

Transformation of the Education System in India is the need of the hour. Vocational training which is made a part of school and college curricula must be sincerely implemented by all institutes to prepare the students to move out with the desired skill set.

CBSE started with a brilliant concept of CCE (Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation) a few years back however, it failed miserably due to a lack of training of the teaching fraternity and its immature implementation.

Teachers need to be equipped to be facilitators eliciting responses from their students and building the concepts on students’ previous knowledge rather than teaching or lecturing. A minimum level of learning must be ascertained before the students move up the grade. The learning process through conventional methods has its own positives however, learning experientially has far more benefits.

Project-based learning offers the scope to Observe, Investigate, Question, Research, Associate, Networking (Collaboration), and instill the skills of Initiative taking, Leadership, Public speaking, etc. Here focus is laid on the process rather than the product.

Tell me and I forget,
Teach me and I may remember
Involve me and I’ll learn

Keeping this in mind, there is a need to extend a platform for teachers and students to perform and experience the process. The teachers need to be encouraged to be facilitators rather than teachers.

To be smart, strong, and happy, there is a need for 21st Century skills. The skills that teach a child beyond academics. Based on the research, ATC21S defined ten 21st Century skills into four broad categories which are grouped under Knowledge, Skills, Attitudes, Values, and Ethics. It suggests the following:

Ways of Thinking

  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Critical thinking, Problem–solving, and Decision–making
  • Learning to learn/metacognition (knowledge about cognitive processes)

Tools for Working

  • Information literacy
  • Information and communication technology (ICT) literacy

Ways of Working

  • Communication
  • Collaboration (teamwork)

Ways of Living in the World

  • Citizenship – local and global
  • Life and Career
  • Personal and social responsibility – including cultural awareness and competence

Equally essential are Coping strategies to enhance innovation, leadership, and wellness skills to enable children to manage the fast-paced socially connected modern world.

Cultivation of positive mental habits like grit, gratitude, and optimism must not be overlooked.

There is a paramount need to create a continuing consciousness among students, teachers, parents, and other stakeholders about the utmost importance of protecting and preserving our environment. Emphasis must be laid on continuous improvement of environmental consciousness through appropriate classroom/school-wide activities etc. to address the Global concerns of environmental degradation.

There is a strong need to sensitize students to the reality that it is they who must take responsibility for their planet as they simply do not have any time to lose.

Including the 9 R’s, Refuse, Reuse, Recycle, Reduce, Restructure, Reconnect with nature, Rethink what went wrong, Repair, and Remodel can bring solutions to the problem of environmental degradation.

Together, we can achieve the goals we create to make the world of our dreams.