Heavy bags full of text books and notebooks are the first picture that forms in our mind as soon as we think about school. Sad faces, walking like automatons to the school bus, to be 'taught' some standard facts from textbooks which have not been updated since years; to further regurgitate these facts during exam time; to compete for marks as if their lives (and their parents') depended on them!
Perhaps it was this that made Pink Floyd sing "Another brick in the wall"! But hang on, was this the reason behind establishing these temples of knowledge in the first place. The answer is a clear and unequivocal NO.
Schools because of their inherent power to shape young minds are the foundation of any society, so it becomes their responsibility to find out the ways and means to make studies more of a 'fun' activity, than it is currently.
Again, schools have their limitations in that they have to cater to a large volume of students which affords little scope for innovation and improvisation. But the numerous 'coaching' classes dotting the city and town landscape can surely address this problem.
Gaining from the experience accumulated over the years nurturing students from various boards, I have hit upon certain ideas on how to tackle these problems and provide a one-stop solution for all their learning needs.
To make students enjoy and understand at the same time is the key principle on which education institutions should work on; it is surely the principle on which we at Aspire Conclave Education (ACE) work! Confucius said, "What I hear I forget, what I see I remember and what I do I understand." This quotation stands the test of time and is true across students of all age groups. It is important on our part to make experiential learning as the way ahead.
Touching, feeling, seeing and experiencing what is being taught would definitely enhance and enliven the teaching and learning process. It would also remove the necessity of mugging up lessons — something which consumes a lot of the students' time — thus, setting them free to pursue their interests and hobbies. Here I would congratulate our
Ministry of HRD under the able leadership of Mr Kapil Sibal for taking the bold step of introducing grade system for students of 10th standard (CBSE Board).
But taking this one off step and resting on its laurels would not be such a good idea. We have to build on it and provide the correct platform to back this step and it is the schools where the groundwork has to be done; for the fact remains, that it is the most important link in the whole chain that is to be monitored. The next logical step is to work on a few out-of-the-box ideas such as using technology to supplement the learning process.
For example if we have to understand the digestive system then instead of simply looking at the diagram of the human body and the text given in the book, we can have a much better (and definitely more interesting) idea of the entire process by watching a wonderfully animated video of the same. History as a subject is really taxing (boring?), so if we can show students some movies which have been made on Nazism or Indian Independence the association becomes much easier.
Let me take another instance, that of rules of grammar. Rather than trying to make them learn the rules, if we can give them practical examples where they usually make mistakes or if we can give them a short objective test in each class wherein they have to identify the correct statement, the understanding of grammar would surely be enhanced because of the mistakes they are liable to make.
This is learning in synchronization with the times, which according to me is the way ahead. This gradual process of learning over time would make them conceptually strong and turn them into dynamic individuals who can compete at different levels in the life ahead. Here is when we can find initiators in different fields which will take us to an enriched future.