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Students should learn to read and read to learn

By Anuradha Sharma,

The need for a skilled workforce involving multidisciplinary abilities will be in greater demand.

According to Principal Anuradha Sharma, marks and mark sheets should be ‘learning driven’ and based also on the students’ practical and emotional strengths.

The New Education Policy (NEP) 2020 is a progressive document launched by our Prime Minister Narendra Modi after 34 years of the previous policy. It was formulated keeping in mind the current national, social, and technological contexts. Noting the rise of Big Data, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and changing education landscape, the NEP document says, “Many unskilled jobs worldwide may be taken over by machines.” The need for a skilled workforce, particularly involving mathematics, computer science, and data science, in conjunction with multidisciplinary abilities across the sciences, social sciences, and humanities, will be increasingly in greater demand. ‘Learn to read and read to learn’ should therefore be the mission of every student hailing from any stratum of life.

The first three years of a child are critical for his/her later adult personality, a fact which is amplified in the NEP where the emphasis is on early education in the 5+3+3+4 curricular structure corresponding to ages 3-8, 8-11, 11-14 and 14-18 years respectively, developing strong Foundational Literacy and Numeracy becoming important abilities of focus. Developing interest in mathematics will, therefore, depend on the skills of a well- trained teacher who is technically empowered to approach a topic with confidence that ignites a spark in the student.

The Ryan Innovator is one such step in raising logical and analytical skills along with scientific temper, where a student is going to research and discover his/her innovative idea or thought and we help him/her launch it on a bigger canvas.

The pandemic has also taught us that learning does not cease despite all odds therefore the computer literacy has to be ensured in children. Increasingly our young learners are already showing interest in coding and are taking classes early on.

In today’s day and age, when creativity is as important as literacy and EQ has become more important than IQ, our school will have to play a dynamic role in developing interdisciplinary skills in the young learners along with balancing their pursuit of both science and humanities. As these boundaries would soon fade, academic streams, extracurricular, vocational streams in schools will be treated with equal respect.

The vocational education would start from Class 6 with internships ensuring the empowerment of every child to survive in these tough times. The school intends to introduce subjects like e-commerce, languages, spirituality and aesthetics along with emphasis over the local/mother tongue which would enable the learner to hone his communication skills and adapt better to his environment.

Schools should also implement assessment reforms with 360-degree holistic progress card, tracking the student progress for achieving learning outcomes. Marks and mark sheets would be ‘learning driven’ and based also on the students’ practical and emotional strengths. We plan on zero drop-out and therefore sensitise our parents to various provisions and accommodations available to students with academic limitations and special needs.

The NEP truly resonates the words of Robert Sternberg who defined intelligence as “mental activity directed toward purposive adaptation to, selection, and shaping of real-world environments relevant to one’s life.” The pursuit of education, therefore, remains unfettered.

Anuradha Sharma is the Principal, Ryan International School, Vasant Kunj. The views expressed here are personal.

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