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Objective cannot be limited to learning of facts only, world needs global citizens for sustainability

By Priya Handa,

Educationists should encourage students to put divergent views and conflicting interests into consideration.

Education is pragmatic but we still need to go a long way to make assessments meaningful, writes vice principal Priya Handa.

Education should involve learning life skills that a person will carry with him/her after school and college in order to be successful in life, at work and to navigate careers.

Schools are excellent in teaching many valuable skills but our current academic curriculum is still trying to give it a whirl to bridge the gap between the curriculum and many aspects necessary to thrive in life, such as how to think logically and how to apply one’s abilities and learn skills to real-world scenarios.

Some of these skills are the most important skills that should be addressed efficaciously at the school level. It’s high time to realise that the academia, parents and the civil society at large have a role to play in creating more confident and readily employable workforce.

The objective of our education system cannot be only confined to learning of facts and information or attaching a technical edge. World needs global citizens who understand and implement sustainable development, who are creative, confident and holistic individuals capable of carrying the baton forward.

Education is pragmatic but we still need to go a long way to make assessments meaningful! Words must be converted to action, and to invigorate this aspect schools give real time experience of exploration in the laboratories where the concepts turn into reality and broaden their vision.

In the current scenario, the students communicate overwhelmingly via technology. The broader outcome of which is social isolation. It stifles the students in various ways and potentially becomes a barrier to rewarding careers.

Knowing how to connect with others, being empathetic, when to speak and when to listen, is of great value in the workplace and in interpersonal relationships.

To encourage the same, the schools involve the learners in varied events that help them overcome the pediment and be groomed to face the world.

And, for this to happen, one has to overcome online education and be present face to face. Imperfections are unavoidable because individuals have to be trained to cope with imperfections and work proactively.

Schools must foster the students in a way that they develop appreciation about the fact that life is an open-book exam.

Nobody will hire an employee for memorising facts and replacing text books as it doesn’t add any value. They will, however, want one as a part of the team and value ability to apply those theories in real-life situations to solve practical problems.

Open-book exams with simulation and case studies are the need of present times so that the new-age student clearly comes out of the habit of memorising ‘by heart’ and instead, becomes adept in critical thinking to develop logical and analytical ability. By these means, the schools try and equip the learners with the skills that will help them in the long run.

We, as educationists, shall encourage the students to consider divergent views and conflicting interests into consideration. In this context, participation in team sports, cultural activities, collaborative events and group discussions help to a great extent.

The schools strive to foster the spirit of accepting the failures with grace without the fear of being judged. As they say, mere words aren’t enough; our actions shall be louder than words.

Priya Handa, vice principal, Bosco Public School, Paschim Vihar. Views expressed are personal.